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Stunning Ice Palace in Saranac Lake Opens Today to the Public

By Bianca Bahamondes

Stunning Ice Palace in Saranac Lake Opens Today to the Public

If you’re looking for something fun to do in February you should definitely consider heading upstate to Saranac Lake!

Every year Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains puts on a Winter Carnival with fun activities to enjoy each day of the week. It began as a one-day event in 1897, but has since transformed into the 10-day carnival it is today. That said, one of the most amazing aspects of the carnival is its centerpiece: the Ice Palace.

Each year, the Ice Palace  is constructed on Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay’s shore using real ice blocks cut from Lower Saranac Lake. The structure is created to fit the theme of the Winter Carnival, which this year is ‘Adirondack Festival.’

The castle is built by community volunteers and is filled with colored lights which allows the ice to light up each evening. Beginning today, it is open to the public for the season!

Take a look at the building process here:

Evening shots of past ice castles:

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The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival officially begins today, Feb. 2, and will run until Feb. 10. There will be plenty to do with several sports activities to participate in, various performances, “two parades and three sets of spectacular fireworks.”

While the carnival itself will end after the 10-days the Ice Palace can stay up longer, however, it depends on what weather conditions permit. As their website states:

If it stays cold, cloudy and dry, the Palace lasts for a while. Sun, rain and wind can make the Palace unsafe quickly. The lights are removed first — while it is still safe to work within the walls. The Committee doesn’t want tons of ice crashing down on the electrical crew while they are removing the wiring. Soon after, when the Ice Palace is deemed subject to possible collapse, it is closed to the public. It can still be observed for a couple of days from behind the safety barricades. It then is knocked down and the wait until next year begins.

So get there as soon as possible to experience the Ice Palace and explore the Winter Carnival!

Featured image source: Photo by Mark Kurtz Photography for Saranac Lake Winter Carnival