It's time for Lake Placid to get ready for the Olympics again. This time, we don't have to build venues, just decorate the ones we have and roll out the red carpet for the thousands of visitors - and dozens of media personnel - who will be visiting us over the next few months.
This is nothing new; it's what we do on a regular basis. We're gracious hosts to the world. As an Olympic village since 1932, we haven't lost that touch. But the Lake Placid Business Association is asking us to make sure we go the extra step during this year's holidays and through the end of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia to remind visitors that Lake Placid remains a vibrant and relevant Olympic village.
LPBA President Lori Fitzgerald says it best: "We want to demonstrate how proud we are of our Olympic heritage and that we still are very much an Olympic community."
As soon as people drive into Lake Placid, they should be hit over the head with our Olympic pride. Decorate properties with colorful lights. Fill storefront windows with Olympic-style displays, including dozens of international flags. Marry the Olympics with the holidays this year. You'll be rewarded for your creativity.
Members of the Lake Placid Village Holiday Decorating Contest Committee have added an Olympic category to their the 2013 competition this year. The business categories are: Best of Show, Retail Windows, Civic Properties and Churches, Resorts, Motels (including Inns and B&Bs), Olympic Theme, Commercial (other than lodging) and Best New Display. And the residential categories are: Classic Elegance, Children's Delight and Most Creative.
When it comes to lighting this year, the LPBA is suggesting the following scheme: place white lights for Christmas, add red lights after Christmas, and add blue lights Feb. 7 at the start of the 2014 Sochi Games. Therefore, during the Olympics, Lake Placid will be lit up with the colors of the American flag. Fitzgerald suggests that holidays window displays can be swapped out for Olympic-style displays after Christmas, or they can be mixed together through December.
We're running out of time. Holiday shopping starts next weekend, and judging for the holiday decorating contest will be held in less than two weeks. Committee members are asking residential and commercial properties to have their decorations in place and lighted by 4 p.m. from Dec. 2 to 6 for the judging. The winners will be announced during the Holiday Village Stroll tree-lighting ceremony starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 in Mid's Park.
That will be a busy weekend. There will be a CAN/AM youth hockey tournament Dec. 5-8 for Mite/Novice, Squirt/Atom, Peewee and Bantam. And the 6th annual Holiday Village Stroll takes place Dec. 6-8. That means families and a busy Main Street. A week later - Dec. 10-15 - the Olympic Sports Complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg will be hosting International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation World Cup races. And that means a lot of visitors, including media from around the world.
It's been 34 years since we last hosted the Olympics, but Lake Placid remains in the spotlight thanks to investments by the state of New York, the U.S. Olympic Training Center and USA Luge, which still calls Lake Placid home.
Like it or not, it's time to play host again, folks. Are you ready?