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Local officials eye return of Winter Carnival events | News, Sports, Jobs – The Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The highlight of Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival is always the gala parade, which is held on the second Saturday of the event each February and draws thousands of spectators, just like it did in 2020, seen here.
(Enterprise file photo — Lou Reuter)

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SARANAC LAKE — Planning for February’s “Totally ’80s” Winter Carnival is in full swing.

While local health officials are keeping an eye on rising COVID-19 case numbers, which impacted last year’s celebrations, they say Carnival’s mostly outdoor nature should still allow most events to happen this time.

As the annual event reaches its 125th year, the Winter Carnival organizing committee is preparing to become a nonprofit tax exempt organization again, and the group is planning other things to celebrate this significant anniversary.

“I think it’s a great indicator of what kind of community we have, to be able to do this for 125 years and keep it going,” Winter Carnival Committee Chairman Jeff Branch said. “It’s not often done.”

Saranac Lake village Health Officer Ray Scollin said the biggest positive difference people can make to ensure a successful Winter Carnival is to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Carnival and COVID

The village usually issues park and street closure permits for Carnival events and parades, and Scollin is consulted on these decisions. He said the village has not yet sought his recommendations on approving these permits.

“We’ve been told by all the appropriate governmental agencies we can do a full Carnival,” Branch said Wednesday.

This is because most Carnival events take place outdoors, he said.

“Obviously, everything is tentative, something could happen,” Branch said. “But all indicators so far, anything outside, there’s been really no significant spreading of COVID at outside events.”

Scollin said he agrees that outdoor events are safer, but he’s still keeping an eye on the recent surge in local COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and though there haven’t been any guideline changes, he said Franklin County is discouraging large outdoor events at this time.

“The numbers in Franklin County are unbelievably high,” Scollin said. “We’re looking at a 10% seven-day average for positivity. And the hospital numbers are really high.”

He said indoor events are dangerous to hold because so many people in the area remain unvaccinated.

Scollin said he’s not “panicked.” Winter Carnival is still two months away, and he said this area has time to reverse course. But he is “concerned” because of the current surge in cases.

On Thursday, Essex County saw 114 new cases over three days, with a total of 185 active cases, and Franklin County saw 52 new cases with 328 active cases. Both county health departments have recorded several COVID-related deaths recently, and hospitals have reported a rise in hospitalizations in the past month.

Back in October, Scollin said he felt more “positive” about Carnival, but now, “there’s some real concern” on his part.

“Things have changed dramatically,” Scollin added. “This certainly isn’t omicron, this is what I believe to …….

Source: https://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/news/local-news/2021/12/local-officials-eye-return-of-winter-carnival-events/

The highlight of Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival is always the gala parade, which is held on the second Saturday of the event each February and draws thousands of spectators, just like it did in 2020, seen here.
(Enterprise file photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — Planning for February’s “Totally ’80s” Winter Carnival is in full swing.

While local health officials are keeping an eye on rising COVID-19 case numbers, which impacted last year’s celebrations, they say Carnival’s mostly outdoor nature should still allow most events to happen this time.

As the annual event reaches its 125th …….

The highlight of Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival is always the gala parade, which is held on the second Saturday of the event each February and draws thousands of spectators, just like it did in 2020, seen here.
(Enterprise file photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — Planning for February’s “Totally ’80s” Winter Carnival is in full swing.

While local health officials are keeping an eye on rising COVID-19 case numbers, which impacted last year’s celebrations, they say Carnival’s mostly outdoor nature should still allow most events to happen this time.

As the annual event reaches its 125th …….

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