Scaled-down Mayor’s Cup set for July 4

SARANAC LAKE – A retooled and scaled-down version of the Mayor’s Cup canoe and kayak races will hit the waters of Lake Flower on July 4.

Launched by village Mayor Clyde Rabideau in 2010, the event took its name from the annual Mayor’s Cup sailing regatta in Plattsburgh, which Rabideau hosted during his 10 years as that city’s mayor.

Saranac Lake’s version, initially held in mid-August, involved canoe and kayak races on the Saranac River. In 2010 it started on Lake Flower and involved a carry around the dam to the river; in 2011 it was just on the river below the dam.

It drew a field of about 60 competitors in its first year, but the 2011 version of the Mayor’s Cup was more lightly attended. An inner tube float down the river was added that drew a few dozen people.

The Mayor’s Cup wasn’t held last year. Rabideau said at the time the village was retooling the event and admitted that participation in the races wasn’t what he hoped.

This year’s Mayor’s Cup is described as a scaled-down, family-friendly version aimed at recreational and novice paddlers. The races will begin and end at Riverside Park, going out and around a buoy in Lake Flower and back. There are three racing categories: single-person kayaks, canoes with an unlimited number of paddlers, and a Rub-a-Dub division for “unusual” floating vessels and costumes.

“This just-for-fun race is a great way for a family to start its July 4th celebration and the events throughout the afternoon in Saranac Lake will make it even nicer,” Rabideau said in a press release.

Registration for the Mayor’s Cup will begin at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Riverside Park. Race time is 11 a.m.

The first finisher’s name will be added to the Mayor’s Cup trophy, with medals going to the first three finishers in each category and special awards for best costume and team spirit. Vermontville’s Rick Gonyea – who carved wooden walking sticks for the recent launch of the Saranac Lake 6er hiking program – is carving a special paddle for the winner of the Mayor’s Cup.

Also on July 4

The 60th annual Kiddie Parade, organized by the Women’s Civic Chamber, will begin at 10 a.m., with line-up for participants beginning at 9:45 at the St. Bernard’s School parking lot. From there it will march north on Church Street, turn left on Main Street and wrap back to Riverside Park at the corner of Main and River streets. This year’s Kiddie Parade has a theme of “Saranac Lake Safari.” There will be prizes for best costumes, treats and ribbons for all participants. If it rains, the event will be moved to the Adirondack Carousel on Bloomingdale Avenue.

At Riverside Park, the Women’s Civic Chamber is holding an old-fashioned Fourth of July picnic from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will feature music, face painting, old-time games and food and refreshments sponsored by local civic groups.

The Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will host a free outdoor concert in the park from 7 p.m. until dusk, with village-sponsored fireworks kicking off just past 9 p.m.