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Students continue Winter Carnival tradition

February 12, 2015
By ANDY FLYNN - Editor ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Three days after Punxsutawney Phil declared six more weeks of winter on Groundhog Day, Lake Placid High School students were glad to get out in the snow and cold and enjoy their 72nd annual Winter Carnival, which was held from Thursday, Feb. 5 to Saturday, Feb. 7.

Opening ceremonies were held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the LPHS auditorium after all four classes - seniors dressed in yellow, juniors in red, sophomores in blue and freshmen in green - competed in a singing contest under the direction of choral director Kim Weems. The Jazz Band, under the direction of Katherine Hudson-Sabens, and guests speakers set the tone for the upcoming festivities.

"While things have changed over the 72 years of this great event, the basics have remained the same," said North Elba Park District Manager Butch Martin. "Our forefathers had the vision of an event that would give students a mid-winter break with a lot of fun and friendly competition among the classes."

Article Photos

Sophomore boys Trent White, Bjorn Kroes, Kamm Cassidy and Evan Damp (back to front) compete in the tug-of-war competition as classmates look on.
(Photo — Alicia Brandes)

Martin, a Lake Placid High School alumnus, said his memories of Winter Carnival remain clear.

"Hockey battles with our greatest rivals, ski races, snow sculptures and of course the coronation and Sno-Ball Hop," he said. "This is one of those special times in your high school lives that you will remember. Enjoy your time. Participate. Be safe."

Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall scoffed at the idea that winter is too long in this neck of the woods.

"There is no such thing as a long winter in Lake Placid," Randall said. "We have great winters in Lake Placid. Having said that, I want to congratulate you on carrying on the legacy of this event for the high school and for Lake Placid. Often times in my travels, I am asked to speak about what creates the legacy of Lake Placid. And I will tell you, it is Olympic athletes, it is each of you in this room carrying on a tradition that is now 72 years old and continuing strong as ever, better than ever and enjoyable for everybody who participates."

Lake Placid Central School Superintendent Roger Catania, welcomed to the podium with a roar of the crowd, kept his comments brief and to the point.

"I just have three things," Catania said. "One is compete hard. Two is have fun. Number three, at the end of today - you're maybe green or red or yellow - but just remember when Winter Carnival is over, you're all blue and gold together."

High School Principal Dana Wood put Winter Carnival in perspective and encouraged his students to enjoy this opportunity to take a break and have some fun.

"Please take these next couple of days and embrace the activities," Wood said. "We've heard about the long tradition, and these are the memories you're going to be making. So get involved every step of the way and truly embrace this. Have a great time because 10-15 years down the road, you possibly could be up here or looking back, and I want those memories to be as fond as they can be."

Coronation was held Saturday evening in the gymnasium and was followed by the Sno-Ball Hop. The theme was FROZEN and was hosted by the Class of 2018.

Queen Elena Bushey and King Nzoni Thompson were crowned and surrounded by court members Laura Stanton, Carissa Kennedy, Andrea Holzer, Patrick Kane, Jay Reid and Ryan Damp. The Lake Placid Central School Class of 2027 - elementary school kindergarten class - provided entertainment for the coronation proceedings that included kindergartner Sophia Thomsen singing "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"

The high school classes competed from noon Thursday through 2:07 p.m. Friday, featuring a variety of activities, such as broomball, tug of war, dodge ball and snow sculpting. The middle school students skated and had fun in the snow at the Lake Placid Toboggan Chute on Thursday afternoon and skied at Whiteface Mountain on Friday.

The Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament took place on Friday and Saturday matching the Middlebury vs. Shaker-Colonie and Lake Placid vs. Saranac Lake. The consolation and championship games were played on Saturday. Lake Placid edged Saranac Lake 1-0 in the first round and beat Shaker-Colonie 4-1 in the championship game.

Peggy Plank served as the 2015 Lake Placid High School Winter Carnival archbishop. She was the human resource in the Library Media Center as well as coach (volleyball and softball), Drama Club and musical advisor, Winter Carnival Coronation director, and "school mom" for more than two decades. On Saturday, she was recognized for her dedication to students and the community.

In 1944, Mr. Romeo Proulx, Supervising Principal of the Lake Placid High School, along with Bob Connelly, Doris Keane, Isabelle Warner Farrell, Gertrude Powers, and Howard Page, initiated the LPHS Winter Carnival with the volunteer assistance of faculty, parents and local residents. It was complete with sculpturing, ski races, coronation and the "Icicle Hop." Much has changed in 70 years, but the high school still gathers the students and faculty together for intramural competitions among grades 9 through 12.



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