LAKE GEORGE — Cold temperatures and ice on southern Lake George that’s thick enough to hold people are a couple signs that things are looking up for the 52nd annual Lake George Winter Carnival, which kicks off this weekend.
“We are going to have winter and we’re very excited,” Lake George Winter Carnival co-organizer Nancy Nichols said. “It’s not going to be like last year. We’re so excited that there’s ice.”
Last winter’s unseasonably warm weather kept the lake from freezing and though the four-weekend festival went on, some ice- or snow-dependent events were moved, scaled down or canceled.
The winter carnival’s opening ceremony will take place on Saturday, kicking off the month of festivities with a parade, outhouse races and fireworks.
Radio Disney will be at the Shepard Park bandstand on Feb. 9, and the North East Snow X Series Carnival Cup, a snowmobile cross series, will be held on both Feb. 9 and 10 off West Brook Road at the former Gaslight Village site.
Several of the ice-dependent events are scheduled for the second two weekends of the carnival, including a motorcycle and ATV race championship and kite flying, which are all scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 16 and 17.
Car races on the ice are scheduled for the carnival’s final weekend, Feb. 23 and 24.
Lake George business owners are also looking forward to the reprieve that weekends in February provide. Many businesses in Lake George are seasonal and won’t reopen until the spring, while others re-open just for the winter carnival.
“You see the lights going on already,” Nichols said. “The business people are getting really excited, and getting ready — plowing their driveways and cleaning. There’s a handful that are open year-round and are looking forward to the financial transfusion of February.”
Early Sunday afternoon, as people began to gather around West Brook Road to watch the East Coast Snocross snowmobiling event, the heart of the village’s commercial district on Canada Street remained quiet. Signs that are shaped like snowmen along Canada Street welcome visitors to the winter carnival, but some business signs still read “see you in the spring.”
Weekdays and Sundays can be kind of slow during the winter at the Adirondack Winery, but the business, which stays open through the winter, sees a lot of its regulars and people who stop in after a day on the slopes at Gore Mountain during the winter, said Jackie Hoffman, who was working Sunday in the winery’s Canada Street tasting room.
“We get a decent amount during the weekends,” Hoffman said. “It’s iffy every year (for the winter carnival) but this year at least there’s a somewhat frozen lake.”