‘Groovy ’60s’ chosen as 2015 Carnival theme

SARANAC LAKE – Dig out those old tie-dyed shirts, bell-bottom jeans and love beads. Saranac Lake is set to become a hippie haven.

Members of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee voted Tuesday night to name “Groovy ’60s” as the theme of the 2015 Carnival.

Committee members, meeting at Saranac Lake High School, picked the theme from the top five ideas generated at the committee’s March meeting, which had been gathered from the public. The others were “Adirondack Fiesta,” “Beach Party,” “Haunted Adirondacks” and “Prehistoric Park.”

“The ‘Groovy ’60s’ was a fairly clear winner,” committee Chairman Eric Foster told the Enterprise this morning. “We went through the different ones, had some discussion, but this one came out on top.”

When narrowing down the options, committee members weighed a number of factors, including whether a theme could fit well in the parade and the construction of the Ice Palace and generate suitable music for the myriad of festivities during the 10-day-long event. They also took into consideration several public polls, including an online poll hosted by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and the Winter Carnival Facebook page, as well as those who cast votes with committee members or through the Carnival’s website, www.saranaclakewintercarnival.com.

“At the meeting, we bring up each theme, and it’s open discussion,” Foster said. “People can say what their thoughts are either for or against, and how it might be interpreted. We do that through each one. At the conclusion of that, we take a ballot. Everyone votes for a theme; then we add them up and see which one comes out on top.”

Foster said the “Groovy ’60s” theme is broad and will give the community plenty of room for creativity.

“The ’60s was a very significant period of history for our nation with many achievements, including landing on the moon, and was the birth of many popular music genres,” he said in a press release. “It was also a great time of positive change, and we’re looking forward to focusing on those aspects and having a very fun celebration.”

Asked what other possible themes generated some discussion Tuesday, Foster said “Adirondack Fiesta” and “Beach Party” weren’t pursued because they were seen as too close to other recent themes. The committee also received feedback that “Haunted Adirondacks” may not be appropriate for all ages, the chairman said.

Foster wouldn’t speculate about how the “Groovy ’60s” theme could be interpreted in the Winter Carnival Gala Parade, saying he wants to see what people come up with.

“This is always the most fun part of Carnival -?to see people taking an idea and running with it,” he said.

The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee, formally known as the Society for Promotion of Winter Carnival, Saranac Lake Inc., is a group of volunteers dedicated to organizing an annual mid-winter festival. This community-wide event traces its roots to a one-day Winter Carnival held in 1897 by the Pontiac Club. The Carnival honors its heritage every year by building an Ice Palace from blocks of ice harvested from Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay, where Carnival events have been traditionally held for generations.

Foster said the committee is planning a summer fundraiser, with details to come at a later date. It will start gearing up for next year’s Carnival in September, he said.

Next year’s Winter Carnival will take place from Feb. 6 to 15, 2015.