Winter Carnival serves as extended-family homecoming

SARANAC LAKE – Since Winter Carnival is this village’s biggest annual celebration, the 119-year-old party is a good time for former Saranac Lakers to come back and reconnect with their roots.

This year, the California Yorkeys are a good example of that.

Jim Yorkey was 12 years old when his parents, Burt and Winnie Yorkey, moved the family from Saranac Lake to the Golden State in 1961. He’s been back for one Winter Carnival since then, in 1975, and his parents haven’t been back for any, although they visit here annually to see family members: the Yorkeys, Pelletieris, Sullivans and Campions.

They got talking about some of them coming back for this year’s Carnival, the idea snowballed and now four generations of them will make the coast-to-coast trip for a major family immersion: Burt and Winnie, 91 and 88, of San Jose; Jim and his wife Lynette, both 63, of South Lake Tahoe; his younger sister Nancy (Yorkey) Kehriotis of Monte Sereno, who was 6 when the family moved away; plus three of Jim and Lynette’s four children and two grandchildren: Amy Yorkey Ingersoll, her husband Mike and their two daughters Mia and Sierra, of San Jose, Scott Yorkey of Tahoe Pines, and Christina Yorkey of Maui, Hawaii.

Jim said his daughter Amy was in Saranac Lake in 1975, his son Scott traveled through once on a cross-country trip in his college years, and Christina has never been here.

They’ll stay with their many relatives here.

“It’s going to be crazy,” Jim said. “It’s like, between the Yorkeys, the Pelletieris, the Campions and the Sullivans, we’re pretty connected.”