Ice Palace construction to start Saturday

SARANAC LAKE – Construction of the Winter Carnival Ice Palace is scheduled to get under way Saturday, less than a week before the start of the village’s annual 10-day winter festival.

“We are ready to start,” Pat Carnell wrote in an email to the volunteers who build the Ice Palace. “The plan is for an 8:30 start and a full day of work. If all goes well and enough blocks are cut we may go into the evening hours.”

Work on the palace had been planned to start Monday, but it was delayed because the ice on Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay was only 8 inches thick, thanks in part to a significant thaw on the weekend of Jan. 12 and 13. Typically, crews wait until the ice is at least a foot thick before cutting the first blocks.

This week’s deep freeze, with temperatures dipping to minus 20 and colder, helped to thicken the ice.

Carnell urged people who stop by the site to view the construction and take pictures to keep their distance.

“It’s a very busy site, so we would ask onlookers to enjoy the scene from the sidelines and not clog the work paths,” Carnell said.

The 116th Saranac Lake Winter Carnival runs from Feb. 1 to 10. This year’s carnival theme is “Under the Sea.”