Adirondacks Festivals and Events
Lake George Winter Carnival. Cold-weather activities, such as polar-bear swims, ice sculpting and fishing, snowmobile and dog-pull races, and snowmobile drags are scheduled for weekends from late January through early February. The carnival also includes a chili cook-off and fireworks. Downtown, Lake George, New York, 12845. 518/240--0809; www.lakegeorgewintercarnival.com.
Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. The annual festival, held for 10 days starting in early February, is the oldest winter carnival in the country. It includes a lighted ice palace, fireworks, and a costume parade. Inner-tube and ski races, hockey tournaments, and snowshoe-softball games are among the sporting events. The whole town gets into the action, so there are concerts, dinners, and dances at Hotel Saranac; breakfasts at the Masonic temple; and shows at the Pendragon Theatre. Downtown, Saranac Lake, New York. 518/891--1990; 800/347--1992; www.saranaclakewintercarnival.com.
Hudson River White Water Derby. In early May, this two-day event draws canoeing, kayaking, and camping enthusiasts to the North Creek area for slalom and downriver races. North Creek, New York, 12853. 518/251--0829; www.whitewaterderby.com.
Lake George Elvis Festival. In late May, Elvis's spirit wafts through the North Country. Nobody will fault you if you think that, not only is Elvis living, he's become legion. During the five-day fest, multitudes of Elvis impersonators and admirers converge from miles around to compete in contests, admire Elvis-type classic cars and pore over memorabilia. The events stretch for days and reach into local pubs, restaurants, parks, and onto the festival grounds. 105 Court St., Lake George, New York, 12853. 888/406--5885; www.lakegeorgeelvisfest.com. $60.
Americade Motorcycle Tour & Rally. Up to 50,000 motorcycle enthusiasts flock to the Lake George area for this multiday event held in early June. Activities include an exposition with hundreds of vendors and a huge motorcycle parade. Lake George, New York, 12801. 518/798--7888; www.americade.com.
Lake Placid Horse Shows. Hunter and jumper competitions are part of the back-to-back Lake Placid and I Love New York horse shows, which start at the end of June and run to early July. Participants include members of the U.S. equestrian team. Lake Placid Horse Show Association, 5514 Cascade Rd., Lake Placid, New York, 12946. 518/523--9625; www.lakeplacidhorseshow.com. $2.
French Festival. The largest festival in the North Country celebrates Cape Vincent's French heritage over a weekend in early July. The fun includes a parade; French music, dress, bread and pastry; fireworks; band performances; and children's programs. Cape Vincent, New York, 13648. 315/654--2481; www.capevincent.org/french-festival.
Antique Boat Show and Auction. The three-day show in early August has a different theme each year. You can view boats on land and water and participate in activities hosted by the Antique Boat Museum. The event concludes with an antique-boat parade on the St. Lawrence River. 750 Mary St., Clayton, New York, 13624. 315/686--4104; www.abm.org. $14.
Adirondack Canoe Classic. The annual Adirondack Canoe Classic is a three-day, 90-mi canoe race held in early September. The 250 boats participating make their way from Old Forge through Blue Mountain Lake to the village of Saranac Lake, crossing several portages. Saranac Lake, New York. 518/891--2744; www.macscanoe.com. $200.
Adirondack Hot Air Balloon Festival. More than 100 hot-air balloons puff their stuff as they ascend in this annual four-day event held around the third weekend in September. There are usually two launches on Saturday and Sunday (one at sunrise and the other in the early evening), weather permitting. Smaller launches are held on Thursday and Friday. Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport, 443 Queensbury Ave., Queensbury, New York, 12805. 518/761--6366; www.adirondackballoonfest.org. $10.
Rustic Furniture Fair. Nearly 100 antiques dealers from throughout the United States and Canada participate in this annual fair, which spotlights rustic furniture and decorative arts. A jury selects the 50 or so rustic-furniture makers showing here; styles include contemporary and traditional pieces. The annual two-day fair is held in early September on the grounds of the Adirondack Museum. 9097 State Rte. 30, Blue Mountain Lake, New York, 12812. 518/352--7311; www.adkmuseum.org. $20.
Lake George Jazz Weekend. Jazz groups from all over the state converge at the Shepard Park bandstand for an end-of-summer bash, usually in mid-September, after Labor Day. Shephard Park, Lake George, New York, 12845. 518/668--2616; www.lakegeorgearts.org.