Tim Weatherwax/One Shot Photography
Contestants in the Lake George Winter Carnival's outhouse race held last weekend drag their creation towards the finish line. This weekend's carnival action promises a wide range of family activities.
After robust crowds enjoyed the events during Saturday’s debut of Lake George Winter Carnival 2012, event organizers said they were excited about the prospects for the upcoming second weekend of the winter festival that’s been a favorite with families for generations.
“This last weekend was full of family fun at its best,” Carnival official Nancy Nichols said. “It was like an old-fashioned winter festival, and we’re looking forward to this next weekend.”
While the scheduled motorcycle and ATV racing has been postponed to the last weekend in February due to only a thin layer of ice on the lake, a full lineup of activities is expected to provide plenty of family fun, Nichols said.
The two premier activities for this weekend, she said, are the Tavern competition, and the Carnival’s annual Polar Golf Tournament.
The first of these features employees and patrons of local taverns and restaurants forming teams of four in various races beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Whether it’s relaying trays containing full beverage glasses, or transporting eggs from one team member to another across a course, it annually prompts a lot of mirth among carnival goers, Nichols said.
“These tavern and restaurants care a lot about winning ‘bragging rights’ for a year,” she said, noting that there’s room for more teams in the lineup. Teams seeking to register should call Nichols at 744-1556.
“It may not be a formal, sanctioned race, but for many years, it has been a crowd favorite,” she added.
The latter competition is a six-hole, par 3 golf competition set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Battlefield Park due to lack of thick lake ice. While normally golfers aim for holes drilled through the ice, they’ll be aiming for targets in the frozen turf, she said.
Nichols added that the golf ball is likely to be hopping and skidding in unpredictable ways, which will give both experienced golfers and rookies a fairly even chance at winning.
“I saw an experienced golfer last year who could not sink his shots,” she said noting that prizes include cash and rounds of golf. “This competition levels the playing field.”
Also featured this weekend is two scavenger hunts, one for children and another for adults. The contest includes challenges prompting participants to discover details of public landmarks around the village.
Registration for the event can be accomplished at any time through the weekend, for adult competitors, at Duffy’s Tavern on Amherst St.; or for child contestants, at the Winter Carnival souvenir stand at Shepard Park beach.
Saturday’s event lineup includes a barbecue cookoff at noon on Shepard Park Beach, and a bonfire on the beach, followed by fireworks. This latter gathering includes marshmallow roasting and free s’mores, plus live musical entertainment.
New this year on both days are Monster truck rides around a course on the former Gaslight Village park. Helicopter rides will take off from the Fort William Henry property. Tethered hot-air balloon rides may be available if weather permits.
Children’s activities will be held both Saturday and Sunday, whether it’s the Children’s Olympics at 2 p.m. Sunday or the indoor craft activities and zumba at King Neptune’s Restaurant. A petting zoo is to be offered near Shepard Park at about noon both days, featuring alpacas on Saturday and mini-donkeys on Sunday.
Of course, the carnival’s trademark event — the polar plunge — will be held each day at 3 p.m., with carnival-goers dashing into the lake for a frigid swim.
A full schedule of events can be found at www.lakegeorgewintercarnival.com.