A canine competitor in the Lake George Dogs Got Talent contest, a new feature of the annual Lake George Winter Carnival, gets some encouragement on Saturday from its human sponsor while a crowd observes. The carnival concludes this weekend with a full lineup of family-friendly activities. The Dog Cabin, a store in Lake George Village that caters to canines, sponsors the dog talent competition. Photo by Tim Weatherwax
The weather has been outstanding during February for all four weekends of the Lake George Winter Carnival, and more stellar conditions are expected for this Saturday and Sunday, event organizers said Tuesday.
The 2014 carnival’s concluding weekend features a signature motorsports event of the annual four-week festival, and it’s expected to draw a formidable crowd.
The Adirondack Motor Enthusiast Club is returning to hold their sanctioned sports car ice races Feb. 22 and 23 on the frozen surface of Lake George.
The races evoke spectator adrenaline, with vehicles careening around curves, inches away from each other, spewing rooster-tails of ice-shards from beneath spinning tires.
This long-standing series of races features classic sports cars in various states of modification as well as some bizarre homemade vehicles. Crowds of motor-sports enthusiasts enjoy not only the competition, but friendly chatting about the vehicles and their performance.
Both Saturday and Sunday, activities include tethered hot air balloon rides starting at 7 a.m. — weather permitting — and a variety of children’s activities and fun games for both youth and adults on the ice from noon to 2 p.m.
A variety of children’s indoor activities featuring crafts, zumba and face-painting are offered inside from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at King Neptune’s Restaurant. Pony rides are offered from noon to 3 p.m. and snowmobile rides are given mid-day.
A giant ice slide in Shepard Park is available during daylight hours over the weekend.
This year’s new popular attraction, the Lake George Dogs Got Talent show and contest, occurs both days at 2:30 p.m. on Shepard Park Beach. So far this year, some very talented canines have been showing off their tricks.
Of course, there’s the carnival’s trademark Polar Plunge event, featuring dozens of brave swimmers dashing into the frigid lake —- a favorite spectator event set for 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Plunge is preceded at 2:30 p.m. by the Snowmobile Water Skip, in which a sled pilot careens over open waters for 100 yards or more, defying gravity that could sink his snowmobile into the icy waters.
In addition, wood- and ice-carving demonstrations are to occur intermittently Saturday and Sunday.
Activities include a bonfire on Shepard Park Beach from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, featuring marshmallow roasting and participants creating their own tasty s’mores with the savory ingredients provided. This heartwarming family activity includes musical entertainment, followed by fireworks over the lake at about 6:30 p.m.
Saturday also features a chicken wing cook-off at noon.
On Sunday the raffle drawings for a Polaris Indy 550 snowmobile trailer — as well as a Kawasaki Mule ATV — are to be held at 3:30 p.m. at Shepard Park Beach.
Carnival spokesperson Nancy Nichols said Tuesday the weather was ideal on Saturday Feb. 15 and Sunday Feb. 16.
“We had another phenomenal weekend,” she said, noting the robust crowd, including a record number of people taking the polar plunge — about 120 over the two days — and a crowd of people of all ages enjoying a golf tournament on the ice.
One new event embraced by the crowd was the mass release of Chinese Wish Lanterns — miniature paper hot-air craft which floated into the sky after they were ignited on Saturday at about 6 p.m.
Nichols said the carnival’s attendance was outstanding, boosted by the President’s Day weekend and the start of students’ mid-winter breaks. She said it was one of the most popular winter carnival weekends in recent history.
“The village was packed,” she said noting that parking spaces were difficult to find. “Every motel was filled and there wasn’t a room to be found — It was amazing!”
She predicted that the upcoming weekend, with the conclusion of the Carnival for 2014, crowds would be similarly large.
“We invite everyone to come to Lake George this weekend and have a blast!” she said.