Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

The holidays are over…

And the long days of winter are among us. If you’re needing something to break up the freezing temperatures and snow storms, you have to check out the 120th Winter Carnival from February 3rd – 12th in Saranac Lake, NY.

The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is the longest-running event of its kind in the eastern U.S. Since 1897, it has grown into a 10-day festival that includes sports, performances, two parades and three sets of spectacular fireworks.


Over the years, the Winter Carnival has retained the warmth, charm and camaraderie of a community celebration. The Carnival – organized by an all-volunteer group called the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee – is a community-driven festival made possible by the efforts of many volunteers and sponsors, including Cape Air! The centerpiece of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is the Ice Palace, built by volunteers on the shore of Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay at the state boat launch.


The Highlights

The Winter Carnival is 10 days packed full of fun and celebration and each year has a distinct theme. This year’s is “Adirondack Wildlife.” Keep in mind that there is an activity each day for everyone! Here are some of our favorite events or you can check out the entire schedule here. Please note most events are free except for the ones marked with a “$”.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2017 – first day

7:30 p.m. *Women’s Civic Chamber Coronation of Winter Carnival Royalty (Harrietstown Town Hall)


10:00 a.m. NBT Bank Ice Palace Fun Run (4 miles) (Ice Palace, State Boat Launch)

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. *24th Annual Chocolate Festival by the Adirondack Chapter of the New York State Women, Inc. (Harrietstown Town Hall)

10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. *Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Chess Tournament, Registration at 9:00 a.m. (Saranac Village at Will Rogers, 78 Will Rogers Drive, $)

7:00 p.m. Lighting of the Ice Palace and Cape Air Opening Fireworks Display (Ice Palace, State Boat Launch)


10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Blue Line Brewery Arctic Golf (Prescott Park next to the State Boat Launch)

10:00 a.m. *White Stag Downhill Ski Races (Mt. Pisgah Ski Center, $)

11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. *Arctic Bar-B-Que (Mt. Pisgah Ski Center, $)


5:00 p.m. Grand Marshal Reception (Red Fox Restaurant, cash bar)

7:30 p.m. *Firefighter’s Broomball, spectators welcome (Saranac Lake Civic Center)


6:00 p.m. Curtis Lumber Snowshoe Races (all ages) (Dewey Mountain, $, call 891-2697)


2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. *28th Annual Winter Book Sale (Saranac Lake Free Library, Thomas B Cantwell Community Room, $)

6:00 p.m. American Management Association Torchlight Skiing and Fireworks (Mt. Pisgah Ski Center)


12:30 p.m. Children’s Skating Races (Saranac Lake Civic Center)

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. *Outdoor Movie presented by Downtown Advisory Board, title TBD (Berkely Green)

7:00 p.m. *Firefighter’s Broomball, spectators welcome (Saranac Lake Civic Center)

7:30 p.m. *Rotary Club Variety Show (Harrietstown Town Hall, $) This event usually sells out.  Get your tickets ahead of time.


8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. *Mason’s Pancake Breakfast (Saranac Lake Adult Center, $) 789 Masonic Temple.

10:00 a.m. *Can-Am Snow Rugby Game (Saranac Lake High School Track Field. Call 524-5841 for details.)

11:00 a.m. *Paul Smith’s College Woodsmen’s Exhibition (Riverside Park)

1:00 p.m. Hotel Saranac Gala Parade (Broadway and Main Street from Ampersand Avenue to LaPan Highway)

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  *Hotel Saranac Sign Lighting Event at Adirondack Carousel, Sign Lighting at 5:30 p.m. sharp, Refreshments, Rides (Adirondack Carousel, 2 Depot Street)

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2017 – last day

10:00 a.m. Community Bank Adult Cross-Country Ski Races (Dewey Mountain, $, Call 891-2697 for details)

11:00 a.m. Snowshoe Softball (Elks Field, John Munn Road, $)

12:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. *Lunch at the Carousel with the Stewart’s Shop Carnival Characters (Adirondack Carousel, $)

12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Snowy Owl Face Painting for Children (Harrietstown Town Hall)

2:00 p.m. Casella Waste Systems Kiddie Parade  (Main Street)

2:00 p.m. Tops Markets Cookie Decorating Contest (Harrietstown Hall) right after the Kiddie Parade

3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. *Sweetheart Curling: Learn to Curl (Saranac Lake Civic Center, 225 Ampersand Ave, $)

8:00 p.m. Guide Boat Realty “Storming the Palace” Closing Fireworks Display (Ice Palace, State Boat Launch)

Ready to pack your bags for the Winter Carnival?

Book a fast flight from Boston to Saranac Lake and be there in less than 90 minutes!


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