Tupperpalooza: mud, sweat and volunteers

TUPPER LAKE – The second-annual Tupperpalooza will start off drenched in sweat and mud.

The week-long event will bring a plethora of family-friendly entertainment and activities to Tupper Lake, and it all begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with the Tupperpalooza Warrior Run. Anyone who attended last year’s race knows the drill: Competitors throw themselves headlong into an exhausting obstacle course that crisscrosses its way up and down – and back up and down again- the Big Tupper Ski Area.

At 3-and-a-half miles, this year’s run is more than a mile longer than last year’s. It also contains about 20 obstacles designed to test each racer’s strength, balance and endurance.

“I’m sure it’s going to feel more like 7 or 8 miles with the terrain,” said volunteer obstacle-builder Adam Boudreau, a Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce board member. “Just from being up here and building the obstacles, I can tell it’s going to be difficult.”

The course was constructed by a small group of volunteers utilizing donated materials, four-wheelers and what Boudreau called “sweat equity.” Since the workers began planning the route earlier this spring, they had plenty of time to make additions to the course. Some of the obstacles, like the mud crawl, wall climb and balance beam, have returned from last year, but others, like the Sky Walk, pond cross and trench crawl, are new.

“We’d like to keep building it up every year,” Boudreau said. “I think that if we can show this event is a draw, we can do that.”

The Warrior Run isn’t all about trudging through mud, though. Spectators can watch the spectacle from the base of the mountain while enjoying food and music, or, if everything goes as planned, they can take a chairlift up the mountain to get a closer look at the mud-caked racers. Kids ages 12 and under can also get in on the action at the Tupperpalooza Training Camp, which also starts at 10 a.m. at Big Tupper.

All racers are encouraged to register early for the run.

Soon after the last Warrior runner emerges from the muck, Tupperpalooza takes a musical turn at 2 p.m. with the “Rock the Arc” benefit at the Tupper Lake Municipal Softball Field. Five bands, including headliner Double Axel, will perform until 10 p.m. to raise money for the Adirondack Arc, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals with developmental disabilities. There will also be a children’s area complete with an inflatable obstacle course, jousting, bounce house and face painting. For adults, P-2’s will sell beer, and there will be food vendors for all. There is a $10 admission fee for this event, and a grand finale of fireworks, sponsored by Adirondack Arc, at 10 p.m.

“We’re really trying to tie all of these events together, and make it an event everyone can attend,” said Michelle Clement, events coordinator for Tupper Lake’s Chamber of Commerce.

On Sunday, Tupperpalooza continues with the Beach Fest at Little Wolf Beach. The festival begins with a Paint Ball Triathlon for kids at 10 a.m. and continues with a sand castle competition at the beach at 11 a.m. For those looking to get ahead of the sand-carving competition, professional sand sculptor Phil singer will be on hand at 11 a.m. to demonstrate sand sculpture techniques and build a 5 to 7-foot-tall lumberjack sand showpiece. The all-day competition will be judged at 5 p.m.

Sunday is also cardboard boat regatta day. Boats can be dropped off from 2 to 3 p.m. at the beach, and the regatta begins at 4 p.m. Competitors are encouraged to build their own watercraft, but pre-made boats can be purchased for $25. Registrations must be filled out and returned to the Tupper Lake chamber prior to the race.

There will also be two events of astronomical proportions on Sunday. At 1 p.m., Dr. David Levy will present his lecture “Comets: Creators and Destroyers” at the Adirondack Public Observatory on Big Wolf Road, and he will also do a book signing at the Wild Center at 6:30 p.m., followed by another lecture.

On Monday, the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts will utilize non-traditional arrangements to pay homage to the Beatles with their “Hey Jude!” show from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Wild Center.

On Tuesday, the Tupperpalooza Sidewalk Sale and Craft Walk will descend upon Park St. from 2 to 7 p.m. At the same time, kids can try the USA Luge experience on Cliff Ave. The Goff-Nelson Memorial Library will also host the “Print, Prose, Recycle” collection in the Simmons Memorial Room, and will also host a display from The Wild Center in the main room.

At 7 p.m., the Adirondack State Theater will screen “The Mountains Will Wait For You” to raise money for the “Go Digital or Go Dark” campaign.

Keeping Tupperpalooza going, The Wild Center will host the Adirondack Farmers Market from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday.

On Saturday, Tupperpalooza goes out with a bang at the Municipal Park, which will be filled with events and activities from 2 to 10 p.m., including helicopter rides, sack races, live music, a fire truck show, beer sampling and food vendors.

For a complete schedule of events, visit the chamber website at www.tupper-lake.com.