Village officials discuss Winter Carnival crowds

SARANAC LAKE – In response to record crowds and traffic at the just-concluded Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, Mayor Clyde Rabideau will debrief this week with the village manager, police chief and Department of Public Works superintended to better deal with the event’s growth.

“Our carnival has grown to the next level, and we must now plan for it to keep it safe, fun and profitable,” Rabideau said. “It’s a good challenge for a community to have as it is all positive for our village”

Village officials will explore better traffic control, increased parking and parking directional signage as well as pedestrian safety across River Street opposite the Ice Palace, the icon of the Winter Carnival.

The first weekend of the annual February winter celebration experienced high attendance, particularly at the Ice Palace where many out-of-town visitors came to view the large structure made of thousands of ice blocks. Participation in sporting events and exhibitions also grew during the carnival’s initial days. In years past attendance of that magnitude usually happened on the second weekend for the Gala Winter Carnival Parade.

“The carnival is nicely filling-in its 10-day time frame with events and visitors,” Rabideau said.