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Wilmington celebrates fall with Festival of the Colors

September 14, 2018
By ED BURKE - Correspondent ( , Lake Placid News

WILMINGTON - On Saturday, Sept. 8, community members here celebrated the 15th annual Festival of Colors at Festival Field on Springfield Road.

It was a beautiful, early September day with the trees teasing a hint of the color changes to come.

The event is always the second Saturday in September and ties in summer's end and fall's beginning. It was a day of community, heritage and family fun that offered a little bit of something for everyone. As in the past, the festival drew a huge, appreciative crowd of locals and visitors to the area.

Article Photos

Santa Claus judges the Battle of the Cupcakes competition at the Festival of the Colors in Wilmington.
(Provided photo — Ed Burke)

Some were here to participate in Sunday's Ironman Lake Placid 70.3 triathlon while others simply came to enjoy a post-Labor Day vacation and to take in the early fall Adirondack ambiance.

The day featured dozens of vendors ranging from produce growers, homemade goods, quilts, jewelry, maple syrup, spirits and wine. The Wilmington Historical Society, E.M. Cooper Memorial Library, Lake Placid Education Foundation and Women at Risk also had booths.

For the kids, there was Pipsqueak the clown, a bouncy house, a huge inflatable slide, pumpkin painting and scarecrow building. They also got an opportunity to meet the local first responders and check out their fire trucks.

There were plenty of food and beer vendors on hand to compliment the ongoing shows and demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"The festival originated as a small arts and crafts fair held in Heritage Park, and then about 10 years ago, it got to be such a draw that we had to move it to Festival Field to accommodate the additional vendors wanting to participate and the growing crowd turnout," said Michelle Preston, operations manager at the Whiteface Mountain Regional Visitors Bureau.

In addition to the vendors and craft displays, there was also the "Battle of the Cupcakes" event, which was a for-fun baking contest. "We've always had a food competition at the festival. Lately it been cupcakes, but in the past we've done pies, chili and bakery goods," said BryeAnna Villana, a festival volunteer.

Cupcake competitors were split up into three age groups: "Miniature," which was open to kids 11 and under; "Just for Fun," for kids 12 to 17; and "Deluxe," for 18 and older.

Owen Thomsen took first place, Kaitlyn and Kathryn Kress placed second and Finnlee and Gunner Grapallo took third in the Miniature. Maya Silverstein and Celia Loher took first and Sophia Thomsen took second in Just for Fun. Deluxe was won by Helen Patnode with Michelle Coccia taking second and Julie Grundon and Marilyn Smith sharing third.

Miniature was judged by Santa Claus, who came down from his Santa's Workshop home at the North Pole to lend his expertise, "It was a very difficult job," Santa said. "They were all delicious, and I put a lot of thought into it, but in the end I had to go with my gut and give it to maple and bacon."

After the contest, all of the cupcakes were sold with the proceeds going to benefit the Wilmington Food Pantry.

Officers Ismael Ramos and Michael Phelps were on hand for a New York Canine Unit demonstration. This included a sniffing demonstration by Rosa, the scent dog, followed by a search for a missing deputy led by Stanley, the search dog, and a posse of on-the-spot recruited kid volunteers.

Pipsqueak the clown put on a crowd pleaser of a show that was major hit with the kids while Ausable Branch served up a lively, musical blend of blues, ballads, originals and old favorites.

The annual Festival of the Colors in Wilmington was sponsored by the Whiteface Mountain Regional Visitors Bureau.



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