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Vol.2 No.4

First Night Celebrations on both sides of Lake Champlain Holiday Strolls in Lake Placid, NY and Vergennes, VT Skiing at Whiteface & Gore, Killington & Okemo

Holiday Train

Popular Canadian Pacific Holiday Train returning

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Polar Express

The themed excursion re-tells the classic children’s story

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A4 Dear Readers,

You are holding our very first holiday edition of North Country Living Magazine. Spring boarding from the phenomenal success we’ve experienced with this ultra-local magazine, we now bring you an edition filled to the brim with holiday-themed articles and events. From Christmas in Warrensburg to the arrival of the popular Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, to North Creek’s Lights on Festival, to the Vergennes Holiday Stroll and First Night celebrations in Burlington and Saranac Lake — this edition has a little something for everyone. At the same time, we remained true to our core and included the same type of engaging features that our readers have come to expect in their next edition of North Country Living. There is a feature on sleigh riding in Lake Placid and Lake Clear; a feature on skiing at Gore and Whiteface Mountains and a feature on Christmas tree farms in New York and Vermont. For those who would rather stay inside, we offer features on museums on both sides of the lake and a profile on indoor golf centers. We hope you enjoy our latest edition of North Country Living Magazine as much as we did bringing it to you.

Editor John Gereau Contributing Writers Katherine Clark Andy Flynn Keith Lobdell Shawn Ryan

Thom Randall Lou Varricchio Fred Herbst John Gereau

Cover Design DJ Alexander Layout and design Andy Flynn, John Gereau Published by New Market Press, Inc. 16 Creek Road, Suite 5, Middlebury, VT 05753 (802) 388-6397, Fax: (802) 388-6399

Until next time, keep your fires lit and cabins warm. John Gereau, Managing Editor

Denton Publications, Inc. 14 Hand Ave., Elizabethtown, NY 12932 (518) 873-6368, Fax: 873-6360 Copyright 2013, New Market Press, Inc./Denton Publications, Inc.

PICTURED HERE: Santa couldn’t help but dance when the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train arrived in Ticondeorga last year. The train will return to Ti Thanksgiving Day at 3 p.m. COVER: Two-year-old Braelyn Pelerin, of Ticonderoga, NY, is getting into the Christmas spirit. Photos by Nancy Frasier

Downtown Vergennes, VT

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A5 CONTENTS Vol. 2 No. 4

FEATURES Four Seasons


Plattsburgh is a four season Destination

Kent-Delord Christmas


Visit the Yuletide Open House at the Kent-Delord House

Dashing Through the Snow


Experience the Adirondacks by Sleigh

Holidays in Lake Placid


Take a Stroll in Lake Placid this Holiday Season

Oh Christmas Tree



Make lasting Memories at a Christmas Tree Farm

Santa Fest in Ti


The Jolly Old Elf himself is coming to Ticonderoga

North Country Christmas


Fourth annual event in Ti promises to be Bigger & Better

Christmas in Schroon Lake


Community will host its 27th annual Holiday Celebration

A Warrensburg Holiday



Experience the Traditional Ambiance this Holiday Season

Church Street


Come to Church Street for a Norman Rockwell-like Holiday

North Country Museums


Take off the Chill with a Trip Inside

First Night Saranac Lake & Burlington are each hosting First Night

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A6 Last minute holiday

shopping tips

Nearly everyone has a last minute holiday shopping horror story to tell. Be it a lateseason grab for a child’s must-have gift or fighting fellow procrastinators for a parking spot come the waning days of the season, veteran shoppers have experienced it all. While those with more experience might know the tricks of the late season shopping trade, novice procrastinators might need a few of the following tips to make it through the season without a horror story of their own.

• Consider online retailers. Shopping online might not be for everyone, but those without much time might want to consider online retailers, many of which guarantee delivery of the item by Christmas Day for orders placed as late as December 20. In addition, some retailers even guarantee delivery if the order is placed by December 22, but such guarantees often require consumers to choose overnight delivery, which can be costly. When shopping online, if no gifts stand out, consider buying an electronic gift certificate instead. Such certificates can often be delivered directly to a loved one’s e-mail inbox, and it only takes a matter of seconds for the delivery to be made. Though some find this impersonal, nowadays many people would prefer a gift card instead of another sweater. • Consider a monthly gift. As a nice bottle of wine or a package of gourmet cheeses proves, not all great gifts need to be picked up at the mall. A monthly gift like a magazine subscription or a membership to a monthly club (i.e., “Pastry of the Month”) are gifts that keep on giving allyear. Late-season shoppers will find these options especially appealing as they can almost always be ordered in just a few minutes, whether it’s over the phone or via the Internet. • Don’t abandon the mall entirely. Though procrastinators are in no danger of becoming extinct, most people do get their holiday shopping done well in advance of Christmas Day. As a result, truly last minute shoppers might find the mall isn’t so crowded on Christmas Eve. While the pickings might be slim for shoppers who wait until December 24, the lines may not be as long and the parking lot probably won’t be as packed. But keep in mind it will be impossible for a gift purchased on Christmas Eve to find its way under a tree unless you personally bring it to a loved one. If you can’t give the gift in person on Christmas, don’t wait until Christmas Eve to buy it. • Donate in a loved one’s name. If a specific charity is near and dear to a loved one’s heart, make a donation in their name. Charities are among the many organizations that are struggling to survive in the current economy, and your donation might go a long way to helping a cause your loved one truly supports. 6 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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four eason estination Story by Katherine Clark Photograph by Stephen Bartlett

Plattsburgh is abuzz with activity all winter PLATTSBURGH — The City of Plattsburgh, a small city nestled on the banks of Lake Champlain hosts an abundance of holiday shopping, local and chain restaurants to bring the family, art galleries, a performance theater and several movie theaters to fight off the winter chill. The city also offers plenty of opportunity to explore its ice and snow covered landscape on skis or snowshoes. The city is easily accessible from interstate 87 or from Vermont via a short ride across Lake Champlain on the Grand Isle Ferry. Plattsburgh is about 20 miles south of the Canadian Border. To the west of Plattsburgh is the Adirondack Park, with a range of summits for hikers on every skill level. “Plattsburgh is definitely a four-season destination, people think of it in the summer because we have the lake but there is so much do to,” said Amber Parliament, Public Relations and Content Coordinator for the Adirondack Coast Tourism. “Winter is a little hard for outdoor activities but we have a lot to do around here.”

Outdoor adventures

When the lake freezes and the snow falls both outdoor and indoor enthusiasm can be found. “We have cross country ski trails and when the water freezes people come and ice fish here,” Parliament said.

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The Saranac River Trail offers a scenic route through the city. The 1.3 mile trail starts at the city’s Saranac Street bridge and runs through the SUNY Plattsburgh campus, passing dormitories and intramural fields, and past Plattsburgh High School. The path continues through the city. Long-term plans call for the trail to extend eastward to Lake Champlain and westward as far as the Town of Saranac for a total of more than 20 miles. Just outside of Plattsburgh, Point Au Roche State Park has free access to cross country skiing and snowshoe trails. The scenic Au Sable Chasm trail also opens up for visitors to explore the deep gorges and breathtaking waterfalls on snowshoes and cross country skis. The Chasm is located a few miles south of Plattsburgh. It opened in 1870 and recently celebrated its 143th season. The chasm currently has more than five miles of self-guided scenic trails that are open year-round. Once the trails are covered with snow and/or ice the guided winter tours on snowshoes or ice cleats begin. The Winter Waterfall Walk will be open to those who want to take in a few sights without snowshoeing or reservations. The city is also a short drive from Whiteface Mountain for skiing with trails for every athletic level and near Plattsburgh is Beartown Ski Hill on Beartown Road in Beekmantown.

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A9 Shopping

Plattsburgh is a place of many treasures including the downtown area with everything from shopping and restaurants to a wine tasting room. “Our downtown has a little bit of everything,” Parliament said. The stores range from thrift shops, antique shops to high end apparel shops. A cluster of small vintage stores have opened on Brinkerhoff Street for antiquing crowds. For shoppers with a different brand of style the city has large retail outlets uptown. “If people want to shop at the larger retailers they can go to the Champlain Centre Mall or TJ Max and Walmart shopping plaza,” she said.

Local Flavor

The city’s downtown features an eclectic mix of international restaurants including the Himalayan Restaurant, Sawatdee Thai Restaurant, the Pepper featuring Mexican food and Chinese Food. Another taste people might not think of would be the locallyproduced wine. The Champlain Wine Company on City Hall Place is one of seven area wineries and cideries. Throughout the year the wine makers team up for wine tours. This December there will be a Holiday Wine Tour set for Dec. 14 and 15. “We have seven local wineries and cideries, two are in Plattsburgh and others are in Chazy, Mooers, and around the area,” Parliament said. The Amazing Grace Winery, 9839 Route 9 in Chazy is pairing with Vesco Ridge Vineyards, 165 Stratton Hill Road in West Chazy. The Champlain Wine Company, 8 City Hall Place in Plattsburgh, Elfs Farm Winery & Cider Mill, 7411 Route 9, Stonehouse Vineyards, 73 Blair Road in Mooers, and Hid N Pines Vineyard, 456 Soper Road in Morrisonville participate in the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail. The popular wine tour features deals for patrons who travel to all of the wineries and with their visit they get a tasting of wines they choose and a matching food treat, Parliament said. “We have a downtown that is really a destination especially with First Weekends,” Parliament said.

Activities and Entertainment

First weekends are a monthly summer event that include street performances and family activities. The First Weekends will hold a special Winter Holiday weekend Dec. 7 and 8. To take a break from the chilly air that blows off the lake, visitors can take refuge in one of the many museums in the Plattsburgh area. Its rich history can be explored through the various museums. Plattsburgh has been the site of a number of historic events, including the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Valcour Island and the War of 1812’s Battle of Plattsburgh. Area museums include the 1812 museum, Clinton County

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torical Society and The Kent Delord House, which is open by reservation during the winter time and has a special holiday open house during the December First Weekend Celebrations Dec. 7 and 8. This year the museum decorations in each room revisit past holiday themes. Parliament said the dining room will be decorated in the style of Colonial Williamsburg, bedrooms will be adorned with Christmas quilts and the parlor with a holiday music theme. For families with younger children looking for a place to unwind and have fun, the Imaginarium located at 4709 State Route 9 in Plattsburgh offers fun and learning. Children are not only allowed, but encouraged to touch anything they want and learn through science exhibits and more at the Imaginarium. The Imaginarium Museum will host a special visitor on Dec. 7 with Santa Claus coming to town. It will be an afternoon filled with Christmas cheer, including the lighting of the Imaginarium Christmas Tree, snack time of cookies and milk and Christmas activities! Admission will be $6 for everyone 2 and over or $4 for Imaginarium member families. In the winter months the city offers an array of theatrical opportunities. The Strand Theater, located downtown, will offer various productions and opportunities for entertainment. For performances, the ROTA Gallery offers biweekly open mic poetry nights open for visitors to the area to bring a piece of their own or to come and experience an eclectic mix of original performances. For whatever the flavor, this Northern New York city has a bit to offer in the arts for all enthusiasts. The city is also visited by Santa every year on the holiday train. The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, decorated in holiday lights and carrying a live musical show, will stop at the Plattsburgh train station Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. No matter the season, everyone can find something enjoyable to do indoors and outdoors, Parliament said. “When people come this time of year they certainly get a different experience than in the summer, but people should come and see what we have to offer,” Parliament said. “We have family friendly, active and recreational opportunities you just have to come and see.” For more information about Plattsburgh attractions visit Vol. 2 No. 4 | North Country Living Magazine | 9

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Story by Shawn Ryan Photographs provided

Christmas at Kent-Delord

PLATTSBURGH — This year will mark the 25th annual Yuletide Open House at the Kent-Delord House. The Yuletide Open House will be held Dec. 7 and 8, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., at 17 Cumberland Ave. Plattsburgh. The event is hosted by the Kent-Delord House Garden Club, which typically picks a theme and decorates the entire house based on that theme. This year is a bit of a departure, as the theme will be “Sharing and Caring.” “We’re hoping that when people come, there’s no admission charge, we’re hoping that people will share with the food shelf,” said Melanie Waugh, head of the gardening club committee. “So either they can bring a canned good, or money.” Donations will be going to the Plattsburgh Interfaith Food Shelf. But Christmas at the Kent-Delord House wouldn’t be complete without decorations. This year, instead of one centralized theme, there will be theme rooms. “With the concept this year being ‘Caring and Sharing,’ it’s kind of hard to decorate around that, so what we’re doing is we’re revisiting previous years’ decorations, kind of with a twist,” said Waugh. Where one year the theme was quilts, this year there will be two rooms of just Christmas quilts. There will also be a music room, an Adirondack room, and the centerpiece will be the dining room, which will be decorated as Colonial Williamsburg. 10 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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Gary Sargent will be playing guitar and singing Christmas music in one of the rooms. Sargent has performed at several Yuletide Open Houses in years past. Waugh expects between 100 and 200 guests for the two-day open house. One member of the garden club will be in each room of the Kent Delord House, in period garb, to answer any questions guests may have. Built in 1797, the Kent-Delord House is one of the oldest buildings in Plattsburgh. It famously served at British Army headquarters during the Battle of Plattsburgh in 1814. The house was purchased by William H. Miner in 1924, and a restoration project was undertaken. In 1928 it was granted a provisional charter to be operated as a museum. It was granted a full charter in 1938. In 1971 the Kent-Delord House was included on the National Register of Historic Places.

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sn w Dashing through the

Story by Camille Daniels Photographs provided


Make lasting memories this holiday season with a sleigh ride through the Adirondack Wilderness LAKE PLACID — A perfect way to make lasting memories this holiday season would be to climb into a horse drawn sleigh with the folks at Adirondack Sleigh Rides and glide effortlessly over the frozen Adirondack landscape as a million stars illuminate the moonlit sky. Adirondack Sleigh Rides (ASR) is the perfect choice for the family, couple, or group of friends looking to get together and create memories during the holidays or anytime that the North Country is sparkling with snow. The company is operated in both Lake Placid and Lake Clear by the owners of Country Dream Farms in Plattsburgh. The business has been in operation for 12 years, providing lasting memories to all those who have come to the Adirondacks and taken advantage of what they have to offer. Some people may not picture going on a sleigh ride as part of how they would normally celebrate the holidays, but those who do decide usually have an experience that they’ve never had, nor will they ever forget. That’s because most of the visitors that arrive at ASR don’t always come from places that make accessibility to a

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sleigh ride easy. “Probably less than 10 percent of the people that we do sleigh rides for have anything to do with horses in the real world,” Melissa Monty-Provost, owner of Adirondack Sleigh Rides, said. People show up to enjoy a sleigh ride for many reasons, MontyProvost said. In life there are so many highs and lows and at some point there is always something to celebrate. Sometimes it’s about a guy proposing to his girlfriend, or wanting to do something out of the ordinary. It’s during these life moments that Monty-Provost and her team at ASR stand ready to help. “The people that are looking for sleigh rides are a romantic couple, they’re gonna have a proposal that night or an anniversary or a bucket list that they’ve seen in a Norman Rockwell picture,” Monty-Provost says. The holidays are also a time for family to gather for memorable moments. A sleigh ride with family can provide the perfect family setting. “Some that visit our business are looking for something fun and

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A15 memorable for the whole family to be involved,” Monty-Provost said. If anything can be said for the Adirondack region it is that it is very picturesque all year around, including the winter when the landscape in transformed into a winter wonderland, blanketed in snow. It can be the perfect backdrop for the photography lover. ADR can help families capture that ideal holiday photo with breathtaking scenery as the backdrop. “It creates memories, long lasting memories for families. It’s a great Christmas card picture. So they come out, get a sleigh ride around Christmas time, and the following year they use that as their Christmas card,” Monty-Provost says. The photographs are then often shared with relatives in far away places who were not able to be present for the sleigh ride, she explained. Many business owners have difficulty remaining passionate about what they do after a dozen years in business, but not MontyProvost. That’s because she believes in the tradition and history of the sleigh ride. “The ability to put two, 2,000-pound horses together and literally go dash through the snow, and have complete control and faith in your horses, is amazing,” Monty-Provost says. Another high point of the business is the expression on people’s faces as they enjoy watching the horses running around through in the snow. It is also spectacular to be part of something that someone has always wanted to do, Monty-Provost said. “It is just a rewarding feeling to be part of someone’s bucket list or to be part of someone’s lifetime memory,” Monty-Provost said. The sleigh rides open up in December and can run until March depending on the weather. The best time to visit, however, is normally around mid-January, Monty-Provost explained. But with the major changes that have been occurring with weather it can sometimes be hard to determine when the best snow will arrive. “Weather conditions have made it much more difficult to make a living or do anything winter-wise in the North Country. Snow is not as consistent as it used to be, the weather has not been as cold as we would like it to be,” Monty-Provost said. These changes in weather have sometimes made it hard to be able to provide the full experience for those who visit ASR for a ride. She explained just how different it can be from week to week when it comes to snow. “Snow fall has been sporadic at best, we might get three feet and then the next week we’ll get a warm up. Sometimes we see rain in the dead of winter. Those have been our biggest challenges and changes,” Monty-Provost said. When it comes to being weather dependant, ASR is really no different than businesses in places like Coney Island or the Jersey Shore. They function based on the behavior of the weather and how the public responds to it. For Monty-Provost and her team it can be the difference between being able to take people on a sleigh ride right around Christmas time or not until days, sometimes weeks later. “For 10 years I could promise a family for the most part that they could have a sleigh ride for Christmas, I can’t do that anymore because we just may not have the snow,” Monty-Provost

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said. Since a seasonal business like ASR needs snow in order to have a successful season, when the main ingredient is unavailable it can make things difficult. “Two winters ago we had very little snow all winter long which made sleigh rides difficult,” Monty-Provost said. In order to protect themselves and the general public’s safety Monty-Provost has a clear rule about what happens when the weather doesn’t cooperate. “If there is no snow, there is no sleigh ride. We are temporarily out of business, basically,” Monty-Provost said. When faced with the situation of a lack of snow, the alternative offered is to give a tour of the farm, Monty-Provost explained. While most of Monty-Provost’s clientele are families, corporations sometimes send employees for a ride as a team building experience. If a sleigh ride cannot be provided, team building can also occur on the farm grounds, she said. Some might assume that much of Monty-Provost’s business comes from businesses and people who reside in the Adirondacks, when actually that is not the case at all. “We get very few locals. Over 90 percent are tourists coming from out of town. The locals know they can do it anytime,” MontyProvost explained. It is not just people coming from out of town, or even the state. There are also a lot of international visitors as well. Guests have come from all over the world, including Romania, Japan, Australia, and Russia, Monty-Provost said. On the occasions that a local family does visit the farm for a sleigh ride it is usually because they have friends and family visiting from out of town, she said. “Every year we cater to a big local family that comes in with 12-plus people, their tradition is that every year they come in and do a sleigh ride,” Monty-Provost said. What can someone expect when hopping into a sleigh preparing Vol. 2 No. 4 | North Country Living Magazine | 15

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A16 to go on a ride through the snow? Well the first thing someone should know is that there is an amount of time involved that is a bit longer than five minutes. The rides offered depend on the type of group looking to go. “The group is a 30-minute ride through the woods and I also offer a private romantic ride which is a sleigh ride on a two seated carter and that’s 45-minutes,” Monty-Provost said. If there are children in tow for the romantic outing Monty-Provost mentioned that the children are welcomed to ride up with her as she drives the sleigh. While many people go on a sleigh ride for something to do as well as for the experience there is also a lot to see along the way. “There are lanterns hanging from the trees. People spend a great deal of time pre planning where they can see a sunset or a moon rising. Everyone has their own particular fetish of what they want to see. You can get a view of the lake or of the mountains,” Monty-Provost said. Few would argue that there is just something very romantic about the wintertime/holiday season. It brings people together and brings out the romantic side of a person. But how does a guy who is looking to propose to his girlfriend do it on a sleigh ride? Monty-Provost said she and the suitor will talk a few times on the telephone before the actual ride takes place, to ensure details like decorations and photography are in place. She will also help identify a perfect location for the proposal. “That way, a couple can return to that exact location,” she said. Out of the two sleigh rides offered the private sleigh ride is requested quite often, Monty-Provost said. “The private ride costs $200 per couple. The group sleigh ride costs $40 per adult, $12 for children ages 3-10 and children under 3 are free,” Monty-Provost explained. Some of the best experiences are often when it is a small and intimate group of people. “Typically I find that if you’re celebrating an anniversary or you’re proposing you want the private sleigh. Even the people that are fulfilling a bucket list take the private sleigh,” Monty-Provost said. She emphasized that while it appears that a two-seated ride is strictly for the romantic couple, the truth is it is not. A lot of different kinds of small groups of people choose to take the two-seated sleigh. “I’ve had sisters or children fulfilling the wishes of a parent go on the small cuter. It’s predominately more of the romantic kind of thing for the proposal and the anniversary but it’s not exclusively for that,” Monty-Provost said. The only major negative to the twoseated sleigh is that the entire group, be it a family or many friends, cannot come along on the ride. It is also 15 minutes

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longer than the group ride and a bit more expensive. However, if the desire is a quiet ride with someone special than it might be the perfect fit. The group ride is also readily requested. “We do a whole lot of group rides. The vast majority of the people choose the group ride simply because price is a factor. But they are bringing along more than two or three people,” MontyProvost said. The group ride is so popular that it even brings together complete strangers who are willing to share it with a family. It also spreads the spirit of friendship as they gather together to do something different. “People will get together and will go with an entire family. Or they’ll get a whole group of friends and come out,” Monty-Provost said. There is no clear way to tell who is having more fun on the rides, as both adults and children normally laugh and have a wonderful time, Monty-Provost said. Monty-Provost said she has no plans of changing her operation after 12 successful years in business. “We are going to continue to run things as usual. For the most part there is nothing changing. People are enthralled with it,” Monty-Provost said. As for urbanites who may not have ever thought of going on a sleigh ride, Monty-Provost strongly suggest they give it a try. “It’s the chance of a lifetime,” Monty-Provost said. For Monty-Provost, there are two words each beginning with the letter “E” that explain just what her business means to her. For the business side she describes it as “exciting;” as for the reactions guests have following the sleigh ride: “exhilarating.” For additional information about ASR call 518-561-8941 or visit

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Story by Keith Lobdell Photographs provided

Lake Placid Holiday Stroll LAKE PLACID — Arts, entertainment, music, events and shopping come together in the Olympic Village of Lake Placid each year for three days known as the Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll. The Stroll, taking place this year starting Friday, Dec. 6, and running through Sunday, Dec. 8, throughout the village with events happening at several theaters, hotels and businesses. “The second weekend of each December, hundreds of visitors and residents join in a three day family-friendly celebration of the holidays in the quaint alpine village of Lake Placid,” said Kim Rielly of the Lake Placid Visitors Center/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. “The Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll event includes a fun run, shopping, festive family fun, arts and entertainment.” Arts start the weekend events Dec. 6 with a artists’ celebration at the Northwoods Inn. The reception, held from 5 to 7 p.m., will showcase artists displaying various creations, which will be at the inn for viewing throughout the weekend. At 6 p.m., there will be a crafting event at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, located at the Olympic Center. The event is 20 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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put on by the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society and the museum. The event will run until 7 p.m. Also at the Olympic Center, people can take to the ice for the Holiday Skating Party. While those attending the event are asked to bring their own set of skates, rentals will be available. Saturday, Dec. 7, starts early with the annual Jingle Bell Run/ Walk, with registration starting at 7 a.m. at the Village Beach (racers can also register at Racing begins at 8:30 a.m. with proceeds benefiting Adirondack Health’s “Fit for Life,” campaign. From 10 to 11 a.m. there will be an ornament making workshop inspired by Olympic medals at the Olympic Museum. Holiday Story Time will take place at the Mirror Lake Inn from 11 to 11:30 a.m. The big moment for children will take place starting at noon Saturday, as Santa Claus will arrive in Lake Placid thanks to the help of the Lake Placid Fire Department. The “Jolly Ole Elf” will make his way to Mid’s Park, where there will be complimentary hot chocolate and holiday music to set the mood. Santa then gets to be the special guest at 5 p.m. for the annual

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A21 Mid’s Park Holiday Celebration, which includes a tree lighting, a musical performance by the Lake Placid High School chorus and the lighting of the Yule Log. Now, in order to light the Yule Log, you have to find it, which will be the focus of the High Peaks Resort Yule Log Hunt, which will start at 4:30 p.m. Those interested in hunting down the elusive log van meet at the corner of Saranac Avenue and Main Street to learn more about the tradition and then put their investigative hats on and join the search. Other events throughout the afternoon Dec. 7 include a children’s holiday crafts workshop at High Peaks Resort from 1 to 2:30 p.m.; Main Street Tastings, featuring treats and refreshment from several restaurants in the village from 1 until 2 p.m.; gift wrapping and wine tasting at The Pines Inn from 2:30 until 3:30 p.m. and free holiday movies at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts from 3 to 4 p.m. The evening ends with a special performance of “The Nutcracker Ballet,” at LPCA starting at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 8, families can start their morning with Santa Claus as he will make the rounds to several local hotels for breakfast with Santa from 8:30 until 10:30 a.m. Throughout the day, Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington will be offering a “Super Sunday” $40 lift tickets and will host a slope slide, games, food specials and drink specials. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Generations will be hosting a candy house making event that will be free with the purchase of a breakfast.

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The Palace Theater will be hosting a special screening of “The Polar Express,” at 10 a.m., while the LPCA will present an encore of “The Nutcracker” at 1 p.m. The weekend concludes at 5 p.m. at the Olympic Center with a special holiday skating show and the coronation of the King and Queen. New this year, The Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll committee is inviting all interested artists to participate in its Inaugural Poster Design Competition. Each year, a poster is designed and distributed throughout the region to promote the Stroll. For 2014, the committee is looking for a unique poster design to capture the essence of this annual event. The winning design will be announced at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts Holiday Stroll Artist Reception and Show on Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. The winner will be notified in advance by email. For more information on the annual Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll, visit

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Story by Keith Lobdell Photographs provided

Christmas in the Forks

Au SABLE FORKS — Charlie Brown is not the only one concerned over the commercialization of Christmas. Nine years ago, several residents in Au Sable Forks, led by Helen Writ Kennedy, decided that it was time to create a small, hometown event that focused, much like the favorite television special, around a simple Christmas Tree. This year, the ninth annual Christmas in the Forks celebration will again bring residents and visitors around the tree for a 6 p.m. lighting Saturday, Dec. 7. “After the Au Sable Forks Clock went in, myself and a couple of others had gotten together and thought it would be nice to have a Christmas Tree there,” Kennedy said. “We wanted a hometown Christmas, something that was community oriented and away from the commercialization. That is why everything is free. So far, it has been huge success.” Kennedy said that when the event kicked off in 2005, she was hopeful that they would get a turnout of around 30-40 people. “The town was packed,” she said. “Everyone caught on to the event and it has averaged around 400 people every year.” The planning and coordination of Christmas in the Forks is also heavily reliant on the community, with help from the Towns of Jay and Black Brook, the Au Sable Forks Fire Department, the Au Sable Forks Public Library, the Hollywood Theater and the local churches. Events throughout the day include story time at the Au Sable 22 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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Forks Public Library, traditionally held at 2:30 p.m. Free holiday movies at the Hollywood Theater are shown at 4 and 7 p.m., with the annual tree lighting ceremony taking place in between at 6 p.m. Also at 7 p.m., children can get their Christmas lists ready to give to Santa Claus, who will visit with kids at the Jay Community Center along with a special guest. “Each year we like to bring in a different Christmas character to help Santa out,” Kennedy said. “There is only myself and maybe two other people who know who we invited to come join Santa, and the only way you can find out is to come over and see what happens.” The local churches hold several events throughout the day, and horse and buggy rides that will be offered.

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C Tree Oh ristmas

Story and Photographs by Shawn Ryan

Make lasting memories this holiday season with a sleigh ride through the Adirondack Wilderness Running a Christmas tree farm involves far more than letting people cut their own trees the week before Christmas and counting the money after. Christmas trees don’t require daily, year round maintenance, but do require sometimes extensive maintenance at various times throughout the year. Depending on the size of the operation, it’s hard to make a living just on Christmas trees. Therefore many tree growers rely on other products or services that complement their tree business in order to be successful. For others, trees are the “other product” that compliments an existing business. Some operations are 100 percent choose-and-cut, while other growers buy a portion of their trees from wholesalers. Either way, tree farms involve a lot of work.

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Moody Tree Farm

At Moody Tree Farm in Saranac Lake, N.Y., the trees are only part of the sprawling 20 acre farm with a “Santa’s Workshop” feel to it. “Most people when they come here, they’re looking for “Christmas,” says Debbie Dupree, co-owner of Moody Tree Farm. Christmas starts early at Moody’s. By late-April, when late winter snows are still an Adirondack possibility, it’s time to plant new trees to make up for what was sold the previous Christmas, or lost during the year for various reasons. For the Moodys that’s between 500 and 1,000 trees, depending on the year. It takes from eight to 10 years to grow a typical six foot Christmas tree, but that doesn’t mean there’s no work for eight years.

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Once the trees are in the ground, they need to be fertilized and the rows maintained. Moody’s doesn’t use any herbicides or chemicals, so that means mowing and trimming the rows and between each tree by hand. Depending on the summer growing season, by August it’s time to prune the mature trees. Every tree gets touches, all by hand. Trees of many sizes are taken every year, and Moody’s sells some trees that are quite large for some of the massive Adirondack camps and homes around Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Trees that get too large to sell will serve out their productive lives on the wreathmaking table. Left on their own, trees don’t grow to look like what we think of as Christmas trees. Trees are pruned by hand, and every tree has its own character. Once the new growth hardens off, the shoots are trimmed to the familiar Christmas tree shape that everyone wants their presents under Christmas morning. Tree buying starts by mid-November. Dupree says that tree sales pick up noticeably after Thanksgiving, and last right up until Christmas Eve, and sometimes even later. Especially in a location like the Adirondacks, where many people maintain vacation homes, Christmas might be celebrated even after December 25 when a family can all be together for the holiday. But at Moody’s, trees are only part of the Christmas experience. Walking into the main building on the sprawling farm, you’re struck immediately by the smell of balsam needles which

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ates the air. Tucked in one of the back rooms, Dupree’s sister, Mary Kelly, works tirelessly sewing balsam filled pillows to be sold in the shop or mailed around the country. Adirondack inspired tree ornaments, pack baskets, center pieces and knick-knacks are everywhere in the sprawling gift shop. The stars of the show, however, are the hand-made wreaths being made at a large wrap-around bench in the center of the shop. Wreaths can be made to order or pre-made. Wreathmaking is that “other” product that Moody’s relies on to be successful. Wreath’s make up as much as 40 percent of Moody’s sales in a given year. At peak sales times, right before Christmas, as many as five people are making wreaths at a time. They’ll work right up to Christmas Eve making wreaths and selling trees. For many, especially the kids, the Christmas experience starts before you even make it to the tree or the gift shop. “A lot of people at Christmas time come here to see the animals,” says Dupree. Moody’s is home to Texas Longhorn cattle, pigs, goats and American Quarter Horses. They also have three golden retrievers who roam the grounds looking for children to play with. Wagon rides, hot cocoa and coffee round out that Christmas feel that Dupree says people are looking for to get them ready for Christmas. Balsam Firs are the main cut-your-own tree at Moody’s, but they purchase other trees to sell pre-cut, mainly Frasier Firs, from other outlets. About 40 percent of the tree business is cut-your-own. Along with their Saranac lake location, Moody’s sells trees at a lot in Lake Placid. In past years they have sold trees at New York City’s South Street Seaport, as well as selling trees to the City of New York and the New York Botanical Gardens. When they purchased the farm they currently own, however, they decided to focus on selling trees locally. They have however established a presence on the internet in Vol. 2 No. 4 | North Country Living Magazine | 27

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the past five years, and sell everything except trees online. Balsam pillows, wreaths and center-pieces are their best sellers. They have shipped to Hawaii, Canada and even England. Wes Moody, the other co-owner of Moody Tree Farm, has been selling trees in Saranac Lake since 1956. The couple have been together in the tree business since 1980.

Purinton’s Maple and Tree Farm

For Peter Purinton, owner of Purinton’s Maple and Tree Farm in Huntington, VT, Christmas trees are that “other product” that Purinton uses to augment his business. Purinton runs a sizable maple syrup operation on his 14 acre sugar bush and tree farm. With 16,000 taps, plus another 4,000 taps worth of sap he purchases from other suppliers, Purinton has produced as much as one percent of Vermont’s maple crop. Vermont is consistently the largest maple syrup producing state in the country.

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He also sells maple sugaring equipment to other syrup makers. He has tapped his sugar bush, where he later built his home, since 1979. In 1990 he decided he would try his hand at planting Christmas trees. He started with 2,000 trees, which is the amount that he consistently plants each year to account for sales and loss. “They work well together,” says Purinton of the maple and Christmas tree businesses. “It fills in the year. There are times when there is some overlap, like if you have a wind storm in early winter.” Early spring is spent sugaring, with the planting of new trees waiting until the year’s sap is collected and boiled. He usually plants his trees in June. He uses a specially made auger that attaches to a lawn tractor. The auger juts out to place the seedlings in the row of trees, next to the stumps of harvested trees from the previous Christmas, so he can drive down between the rows and place the trees in line with the remaining trees in the row. After a couple years left alone, the old stumps can just be

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A29 kicked out of the ground. Over the life of the 2,000 trees, Purinton can expect between a two and twenty percent loss from mortality, due mainly to weather and insects. Following this year’s extremely wet spring, he expects the mortality rate for this year’s crop to be near the higher end of the range. He plants mostly Balsam Fir trees, but also plants Canaan Firs as well. “Doing what I do is about learning to deal with Mother Nature,” Purinton says. “The more I know about this industry, the less I know about it.” Dealing with Mother Nature, he says, can be feast or famine, and sometimes only a couple of miles can make all the difference. He remembers the 1997 ice storm, which wrecked both sugar bushes and tree farms all around him. But the ice stopped only a mile away from his farm. His trees were never touched, when sugar bushes just down the road got flattened. While the first year trees are allowed to grow, all the other trees have to be pruned. Every tree except the new ones are visited every year. He used to prune his trees to what he thought was the perfect shape, but has since learned that people like different trees of all different shapes and sizes. “You take what the tree offers you. Some are narrow, some are fat. Some are looser, some tighter. They’re like people,” he says. Purinton produced a thin, serrated knife about a foot long, and demonstrated how with a quick flick of the wrist he shears off the tip of the hardened new growth. With proper pruning, a bare spot can be pruned to fill in, or a dense spot thinned. The top of the tree is pruned so that one main tine grows straight up, and the top isn’t clumpy. He spends much of the hottest days of summer pruning his trees, splitting the time between the Christmas trees and checking and repairing any damage in the vacuum lines for collecting his sap.

Critters, he says, like to chew on the lines during the summer months. Wind also accounts for a lot of summer and fall damage. “It doesn’t come as easy as some people think,” he says of the hours spent off-season. “The bigger you get the more full time it gets.” Aside from the heat, there are dangers that most people don’t think of in working with Christmas trees, namely bees. With thousands of trees to be pruned, Purinton runs into a fair number of angry bees when their hives are disturbed. He recalled one time when he was fairly new at pruning trees, and a friend told him to wrap a diesel soaked rag around a stick to make a torch and burn the hives. He didn’t say exactly how big to make the torch, and Purinton promptly set the entire tree on fire. Like Moody’s, Purinton starts selling trees around mid-November, but sales pick up sharply after Thanksgiving. He has built a small building on skids with a heater for the person selling the trees. Every winter he can pull the building with a tractor to where the choice trees are located. His 100 percent choose and cut trees are all planted on a gently sloping hill, and his customers simply walk up the hill, choose their tree, then cut them and slide them down the hill to their waiting car. A quick shake removes the dead needles, before they’re baled and ready to go. But for Purinton, Christmas time is about more than trees. The reason he started selling trees in the first place, was to sell more maple syrup and candy. Many times people will come in and spend twice as much on sugar products as they do on trees, wreaths and kissing balls. “It’s a good time of year to sell maple syrup,” he says. The majority of his business is repeat customers, and about a third have been with him since his first year selling trees. He has repeat customers who come from Vermont, from New York City, Connecticut and even from Florida who choose and cut their tree and bring it back home with them. TOP OF FIRST PAGE: Trees ready for winter at Purinton Maple and Tree Farm in Huntington, VT. SECOND PAGE, TOP: Jess Spaulding prunes a Christmas tree, under the watchful eye of Tully, one of the many mascots at Moody Tree Farm in Saranac lake. OPPOSITE PAGE: Jackie Moody, of Moody Tree Farm in Saranac Lake, puts the finishing touches on a hand made Christmas wreath. LEFT: Inside the boiling room at the maple syrup end of Peter Purinton’s operation.

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A30 Story by Fred Herbst Photograph by Nancy Frasier

Popular Holiday Train returning to region NORTH COUNTRY — The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will again visit the area, Once again bringing holiday cheer to children and grown-ups alike. Decorated in holiday lights and carrying a live musical show, the train is scheduled to pass through the North Country on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28. The train will arrive in Ticonderoga at 3:15 p.m., stop in Port Henry at 5 p.m., visit Plattsburgh at 7:30 p.m. and stop in Rouses Point at 9:15 p.m. All times are approximate. This will be the eighth year the train will stop in Ticonderoga and Plattsburgh. It has stopped in Port Henry the past seven years. It will stop at the train station in each community. The goal of the “Holiday Train” is to collect food and money for local food banks and to raise awareness in the fight against hunger. At each event, the train provides a box car stage, musical talent and a corporate contribution to the local food bank. The community, in turn, is encouraged to donate food and funds, all of which stays in the community. Now in its 13th year in North America, Canadian Pacific Railway’s two lighted “Holiday Trains” — one in the eastern U.S. and Canada and another in the Midwest — carry live musical shows performed from boxcar stages in an effort to end hunger. Since 1999, the CP Holiday Train program has raised $2.4 million and generated almost 2.6 million pounds of food donations for local food shelves. The entertainment on the Holiday Train this year will be The Claytones and Tracey Brown. Formed in the heart of the Ottawa valley, The Claytones spin their melodic, vocal driven, Canadian brand of country soaked roots music with old school sensibilities. A collaborative project, Kelly, Adam and Anders write and arrange their songs together making The Claytones sound the sum of its parts. The young band recently released its debut album. The three full-time musicians have released eight full-length recordings of original music under the names of Kelly Prescott, 30 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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Prescott, Anders Drerup, The Van Meters and Adam Puddington. The National Post listed them as one of the top five Canadian acts to watch in 2012. “The Claytones come across as if they’ve been best friends all of their lives,” said Sue Tennant of Music On McLean House Concerts. “Kelly Prescott, Anders Drerup and Adam Puddington are the ultimate performers. They put on a phenomenal show; their sweet harmonies and instrumental prowess guides us through a nice mix of genres. Their professionalism oozes well beyond their years, like a comfy sweatshirt swaddling the crowd offering a memorable experience to all they encounter.” Brown is a member of a family of celebrated musicians. She was part of Canada’s most awarded country group, Family Brown, before forming the Juno award-winning, Prescott-Brown. The Family Brown toured extensively and had a syndicated TV show for 13 years. During her career, Brown has released more than 20 albums and was nominated for a Juno as Best Country Female Vocalist in 1999. She is also a member of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. She and husband, Randall Prescott have been actively involved in production of the “Holiday Train” since 2004, as well as performing on many of the tours.

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Story by Fred Herbst Photographs by Nancy Frasier

It’s Santa Fest!

TICONDEROGA — You better watch out, you better not pout,  Santa Claus is coming to town. The seventh annual Santa Fest will conclude the Ticonderoga  Area North Country Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 8, 1 to 3:30 p.m.  at the Community Building. The free event will include music, games, crafts, face painting  and a visit from Santa. Refreshments will be available.  The event is free and open to the public. All children must be  accompanied by an adult. Santa and Mrs. Claus will meet with each child and have photos taken. 32 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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Santa Fest attracts hundreds of area children each year.  “It’s definitely become a highlight of the holiday season,” said  Matthew Courtright, executive director of the Ticonderoga Area  Chamber of Commerce. “We have so many children, and everyone always has a great time.” North Country Christmas, sponsored by the Ticonderoga Area  Chamber of Commerce, will be Nov. 28 through Dec. 8.  Kicking  off  the  holiday  celebration  will  be  the  arrival  of  the  Canadian Pacific Holiday Train. The train will arrive at approximately 3:15 p.m. in Ticonderoga and 5 p.m. in Port Henry. Decorated in holiday lights and carrying a live musical show,

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A33 the goal of the Holiday Train is to collect food and money for local food banks and to raise awareness in the fight against hunger. At each event, the train provides a box car stage, musical talent and a corporate contribution to the local food bank. The community, in turn, is encouraged to donate food and funds, all of which stays in the community. Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, is Friday, Nov. 29. Local businesses will be offering promotions that day. “We want to promote local shopping,” Courtright said. “You can get anything you need for the holidays right in Ticonderoga.” Small Business Saturday, a national campaign sponsored by American Express, will be observed in Ticonderoga Saturday, Nov. 30. Local businesses will participate with specials and promotions. The Downtown Gallery will open a new exhibit by the Upper Hudson Valley Watercolor Society Nov. 30. The exhibit will be open every day throughout the Ticonderoga Area North Country Christmas. The Ticonderoga Community Christmas Tree will be lit during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, on the Community Building lawn. There will be live music and refreshments. The first 20 people to arrive will receive a free candy cane and a special gift. Holiday hayrides will be available Sunday, Dec. 1, 6 to 8 p.m. beginning at the Heritage Museum, sponsored by the Ticonderoga Youth Commission with Lynne and Joe Sawyer. “Tantalize Your Taste Buds” will be held Monday, Dec. 2, 5 to 7 p.m. Held at Montcalm Liquor with Libby’s Bakery, it will feature wine and food tasting. “The Family Holiday Book Reading” will be Tuesday, Dec. 3, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Black Watch Memorial Library. Courtright, library staff and volunteers will read Christmas stories to children. Snacks will be provided. “Letters to Santa and Wish List Night” will be held at Sugar & Spice Country Shoppe 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4. Children can write letters to Santa, which will be mailed to the North Pole and answered. Refreshments will be provided. While children write letters, parents can shop, receiving a 25 percent discount on one item. “Learn to Create Your Own Holiday Arrangement” will be held Thursday, Dec. 5, at 4 p.m. at the Country Florist. Francine Burke will teach participants to make holiday flower arrangements. “Fourth of July in December Barbecue” will be Thursday, Dec. 5, at 5 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus in Ticonderoga. Tickets will be $12 a person. Take-out meals will be available. The dinner will benefit Ticonderoga’s annual “Best Fourth in the North” celebration. “Shopping and Dining Night” will be held in Ticonderoga Friday, Dec. 6. Businesses will be open to 9 p.m. for shopping and local restaurants will offer promotions and specials. Participating businesses will have a snowflake in a window. To add to the festive nature of the night, Ticonderoga Central School musicians will provide holiday music throughout the downtown area. The Ti chamber office will be open offering free refreshments. The annual “Museums Store” will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the Hancock House. It will feature items from

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the Ticonderoga Historical Society, the Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, Ti Arts and Fort Ticonderoga. “Holiday in Hague” will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. It will feature shopping, a tree-decorating contest, a holiday parade, a tree-lighting ceremony and a Christmas party. “Holiday Movie Night” will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m. at the Ticonderoga Best Western Inn Plus in coordination with the Ticonderoga Festival Guild. A free holiday children’s movie will be screened. There will be free pop corn. Other refreshments will be for sale. Children are encouraged to come in pajamas and bring a blanket. The annual Festival of Trees open house will be held at the Hancock House 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. This will mark the 23rd year for the holiday tradition, which features a festive display of trees decorated by local businesses, organizations, families and individuals. The Champlain Valley Chorale’s annual Christmas concert will conclude the Ticonderoga Area North Country Christmas at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the First United Methodist Church. The concert theme this year is “The Very Best Time of Year.” The Champlain Valley Strings will accompany the chorale on music from the holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a portion of Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and the annual sing along of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.” For more information go online at or call the chamber at 585-6619. OPPOSITE PAGE: Kenzi Weston enjoyed a visit with Santa during the SantaFest In Ticonderoga. This year’s Santa Fest will be Dec. 8. ABOVE: Trinity Paige visits with Santa during the 2012 SantaFest in Ticonderoga. Santa greeted hundreds of fans during the event, which concluded Ti’s North Country Christmas celebration. This year’s SantaFest will be Sunday, Dec. 8. Vol. 2 No. 4 | North Country Living Magazine | 33

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Help Stuff a Bus!

TICONDEROGA — The  Ticonderoga  Holiday  Stuff-A-Bus  event will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ticonderoga Walmart store. Ticonderoga High School students, along with the Ticonderoga  Kiwanis,  will  collect  food  and  donations  to  benefit  the  Ticonderoga Food Pantry.  “Our goal is to fill a full-sized school bus with non-perishable  foods to help the food pantry to help local families in need,” said  John Bartlett of the Kiwanis. “Please come by on Saturday and  help us to help them. “ Among  the  items  needed  are  large  cans  of  tomatoes,  baked  beans and soups, pizza mix, taco sauce and shells, peanut butter,    jelly,  crackers,  juice,  coffee,  tea,  pasta  and  sauce,  canned  36 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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meats, condiments, cereal, toilet paper, paper towels, baby food  and formula. People  who  would  like  to  make  a  tax-deductible  donation  should make their check payable to the Ticonderoga Food Pantry. “Share the joy of the holiday season by donating for others who  are  less  fortunate,”  Bartlett  said.  “Seasons  greetings  and  thank  you to everyone who helps us stuff-the-bus.” ABOVE: Ticonderoga High School students along with the Ticonderoga Kiwanis collected food and donations to benefit the Ticonderoga Food Pantry in 2012. The Ticonderoga Holiday Stuff-A-Bus event was held at the Ticonderoga Wal-Mart store. Taking part were, from left, Pam Norton, John Bartlett, Connie Wells, Brittany McCarthy, Hannah Herbst, James Cooke, Rachel Scuderi and others.

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Night PUTNAM — Twelfth Night will again be celebrated by the Ticonderoga Festival Guild. The annual event will be held Monday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. at the  Putnam Presbyterian Church.  Area choirs will perform their favorite Christmas music.   Light refreshments will follow the program.  The program is free to all, but donations will be accepted following the program.  For more information, call the festival guild office at 585-7015. The Ticonderoga Festival Guild, Inc., was established in 1980  as a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the  performing arts in the Ticonderoga area. The mission of the Ticonderoga Festival Guild is to promote,  develop, sustain, present, and advance a diverse program of performing arts in the Ticonderoga area. The  Twelfth Night tradition dates to the Middle Ages. In early times, Christmas was 12 days of celebration, starting  on Dec. 25 and culminating on the 12th night, which was considered  “Christmas Day.” 

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Story by Fred Herbst Photograph by Nancy Frasier

Hence,  the  song  “Twelve  Days  of  Christmas”  and  the  play   “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare. In  529,  Roman  Emperor  Justinian  named  Christmas  to  be  a  civic holiday. Work and public business not associated with the  celebration of the holiday was strictly forbidden. In 563, a decree from the Council of Braga declared that fasting on Christmas was prohibited and in 567 the Council of Tours elected the  12 days from Dec. 25 to Epiphany to be sacred.  As a result, in the Middle Ages Christmas was not one day to  take off work and spend with family, but 12 days of celebration.  In older times, the “Twelfth Night” brought great festivities.  In some areas of the world, it is still proper to erect a Christmas  tree  on  Christmas  Eve  and  leave  it  up  until  a  week  after  New  Year for this reason.

ABOVE: Twelfth Night will be celebrated by the Ticonderoga Festival Guild Jan. 6. A procession of the Wise Men opens the program, which includes area choirs singing their favorite Christmas music and two organ solos. Photo by Nancy Frasier

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ounds of the eason

The Champlain Valley Chorale will again entertain this holiday season

TICONDEROGA — The Champlain Valley Chorale will again  present  the  sounds  of  the  season  in  Ticonderoga  and  Schroon  Lake. The  group  will  present  its  annual  Christmas  concert  Friday,  Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Schroon  Lake  and  again  Sunday,  Dec.  8,  at  3  p.m.  at  the  First  United  Methodist Church on Wicker Street in Ticonderoga. The concert theme this year is “The Very Best Time of Year.” The Champlain Valley Strings will accompany the chorale on  music from the holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a portion of  Vivaldi’s  “Gloria”  and  the  annual  sing  along  of  the  Hallelujah  Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.”  “The    program  features  holiday  favorites  and  instrumental  pieces by the string group,” said Jeris French, chorale director. Vaughn Watson will be the accompanist.  There is no charge for the concerts, but free will donations are  appreciated. Following  the  Ticonderoga  concert  the  Carillon  Garden  Club  42 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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will present “Holiday Magic” in the church fellowship hall. Refreshments will be served. Flower displays and collections will  be presented. The Champlain Valley Chorale includes: •Soprano  —  Jill  Brown,  Grace  Trombley,  Jane  Bassett,  Merribeth  Elling,  Claire  Best,  Vivian  DenBleyker,  Martha  Strum,  Claudia Young, Julie Cogswell and Anne Charboneau •Alto  —  Jeanne  B.  Thatcher,  Beth  Hanley,  Marianne  Major,  Ruth  Malaney,  Kathy  Hyatt,  Katie  Huestis,  Ellen  Ellithorpe,  Joan Pulling, Penny Carr, Polleen Tyler and Dorthy Brauner •Tenor  —  Richard  Malaney,  Bob  Elling,  Bonnie  Reid,  Jerry  Treadway, Joseph Vilardo, Sue Liddell, Evan Gladding and Lloyd  Burroughs •Bass — Bill Westervelt, Jim Beaty, Bob Bartlett, Dick Barney,  Bill Quinn and Bob Johnson. PICTURED ABOVE: The Champlain Valley Chorale will again present the sounds of the season in Ticonderoga and Schroon Lake. The group will present its annual Christmas concert Friday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Schroon Lake and again Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church on Wicker Street in Ticonderoga.

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A43 “A Little Bit of Everything” at

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Story by Fred Herbst Photographs by Nancy Frasier

North Country Christmas: Bigger and Better! TICONDEROGA — The  fourth  annual  Ticonderoga  Area  North Country Christmas promises to be bigger and better than  ever. “It just keeps growing,” said Matthew Courtright, Ticonderoga  Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. “It’s a lot of fun  and more and more businesses are excited about participating.  Everyone looks forward to the North Country Christmas.” The 2013 event will be Nov. 28 through Dec. 8 and is sponsored by the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce. Kicking off the holiday celebration will be the arrival of the  Canadian Pacific Holiday Train. The train will arrive at approximately 3:15 p.m. in Ticonderoga and 5 p.m. in Port Henry. Decorated in holiday lights and carrying a live musical show,  the goal of the Holiday Train is to collect food and money for lo44 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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cal food banks and to raise awareness in the fight against hunger.  At each event, the train provides a box car stage, musical talent  and a corporate contribution to the local food bank. The community, in turn, is encouraged to donate food and funds, all of which  stays in the community. Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, is Friday, Nov. 29. Local businesses will be offering promotions that day. “We  want  to  promote  local  shopping,”  Courtright  said.  “You  can get anything you need for the holidays right in Ticonderoga.” Small  Business  Saturday,  a  national  campaign  sponsored  by  American  Express,  will  be  observed  in  Ticonderoga  Saturday,  Nov. 30. Local businesses will participate with specials and promotions.

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A45 The Downtown Gallery will open a new exhibit by the Upper  Hudson Valley Watercolor Society Nov. 30. The exhibit will be  open every day throughout the Ticonderoga Area North Country  Christmas. The  Ticonderoga  Community  Christmas  Tree  will  be  lit  during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, on the Community  Building lawn. There will be live music and refreshments. The  first  20  people  to  arrive  will  receive  a  free  candy  cane  and  a  special gift. Holiday hayrides will be available Sunday, Dec. 1, 6 to 8 p.m.  beginning  at  the  Heritage  Museum,  sponsored  by  the  Ticonderoga Youth Commission with Lynne and Joe Sawyer. “Tantalize Your Taste  Buds” will  be held  Monday, Dec. 2, 5  to 7 p.m. Held at Montcalm Liquor with Libby’s Bakery, it will  feature wine and food tasting. “The Family Holiday Book Reading” will be Tuesday, Dec. 3,  6:30  to  7:30  p.m.  at  the  Black  Watch  Memorial  Library.  Courtright, library staff and volunteers will read Christmas stories to  children. Snacks will be provided. “Letters to Santa and Wish List Night” will be held at Sugar &  Spice Country Shoppe 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4. Children  can write letters to Santa, which will be mailed to the North Pole  and  answered.  Refreshments  will  be  provided.  While  children  write letters, parents can shop, receiving a 25 percent discount  on one item. “Learn  to  Create  Your  Own  Holiday  Arrangement”  will  be  held Thursday, Dec. 5, at 4 p.m. at the Country Florist. Francine  Burke  will  teach  participants  to  make  holiday  flower  arrangements. “Fourth  of  July  in  December  Barbecue”  will  be  Thursday,  Dec.  5,  at  5  p.m.  at  the  Knights  of  Columbus  in  Ticonderoga.  Tickets will be $12 a person. Take-out meals will be available.  The dinner will benefit Ticonderoga’s annual “Best Fourth in the  North” celebration. “Shopping and Dining Night” will be held in Ticonderoga Friday, Dec. 6. Businesses will be open to 9 p.m. for shopping and  local restaurants will offer promotions and specials. Participating businesses will have a snowflake in a window. To add to the  festive  nature  of  the  night,  Ticonderoga  Central  School  musicians will provide holiday music throughout the downtown area.  The Ti chamber office will be open offering free refreshments. The annual “Museums Store” will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Friday, Dec. 6, at the Hancock House. It will feature items from  the  Ticonderoga  Historical  Society,  the  Ticonderoga  Heritage  Museum, Ti Arts and Fort Ticonderoga. “Holiday in Hague” will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. It  will  feature  shopping,  a  tree  decorating  contest,  a  holiday  parade, a tree lighting ceremony and a Christmas party. “Holiday Movie Night” will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m.  at the Ticonderoga Best Western Inn Plus in coordination with  the Ticonderoga Festival Guild. A free holiday children’s movie  will  be  screened.  There  will  be  free  pop  corn.  Other  refreshments will be for sale. Children are encouraged to come in pajamas and bring a blanket.

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The annual “Museums Store” will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Saturday,  Dec.  7,  at  the  Hancock  House.  It  will  feature  items  from the Ticonderoga Historical Society, the Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, Ti Arts and Fort Ticonderoga. SantaFest,  a  highlight  of  the  Ticonderoga  Area  North  Country Christmas, will take place 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at  the Community Building. It will feature visits with Santa, photos  with the jolly elf, games, crafts, face painting, refreshments and  more. It typically attracts hundreds of children and their families. The  annual  Festival  of  Trees  open  house  will  be  held  at  the  Hancock House 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. This will mark the  23rd year for the holiday tradition, which features a festive display of trees decorated by local businesses, organizations, families and individuals.   The  Champlain  Valley  Chorale’s  annual  Christmas  concert  will  conclude  the  Ticonderoga  Area  North  Country  Christmas  at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the First United Methodist Church.  The concert theme this year is “The Very Best Time of Year.” The Champlain Valley Strings will accompany the chorale on  music from the holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a portion of  Vivaldi’s  “Gloria”  and  the  annual  sing  along  of  the  Hallelujah  Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.” For more information go online at or  call the chamber at 585-6619. OPPOSITE PAGE: Santa is expected to once again be on hand when The Ticonderoga Community Christmas Tree is lit during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, on the Community Building lawn. There will be live music and refreshments. The first 20 people to arrive will receive a free candy cane and a special gift. ABOVE: You never know what you might find at SantaFest, a part of the annual Ticonderoga Area North Country Christmas. Last year Nancy Carlson of All ’Bout Critters brought her friends to the event for children to meet. Vol. 2 No. 4 | North Country Living Magazine | 45

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Giving The season of Story by Fred Herbst

TICONDEROGA — Christmas  is  a  time  for  giving,  something  Glen  Buell  knows about. Buell  is  the  Ticonderoga  coordinator  for the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle  drive.  He  is  lining  up  help  for  the  traditional charity effort. “The Salvation Army is seeking volunteer  bell  ringers  for  its  Red  Kettle  campaign  in  Ticonderoga,”  Buell  said.  “The  Red  Kettles  have  become  a  tradition  throughout the United States, raising money to assist the less fortunate. Volunteers  are needed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting the week before Thanksgiving  up  until  Christmas  Eve.  Companies,  organizations,  schools,  and  individuals  can  sign  up  as  volunteers.  Up  to  90  percent  of  the  money  raised  is  available  to  help  people in need in our local community.” People interested in volunteering for the  Red  Kettle  campaign,  or  throughout  the  entire year, can call Buell at 597-3222. “If  you  have  a  friendly  face,  you  don’t  mind being out in the cold for an hour or  two, and you would like to do something to  benefit  your  community  this  holiday  season,  then  consider  becoming  a  volunteer  bell ringer for the Salvation Army,” Buell  said. Anyone  who  needs  assistance  can  also  call Buell. In  2012  the  Salvation  Army  reached  a  new record, collecting $148.7 million during the Red Kettle campaign. “There  are  times  in  American  history  when people unite around a common cause  and work together to help their neighbor.  2012 was no different,” said Commissioner  William  Roberts,  national  commander  of  The  Salvation  Army.  “The  Red  Kettle  campaign  signifies  a  unified  goal  —  the  public cares for people who have fallen on  46 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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England.  He  remembered  how  at  Stage  Landing,  where  the  boats  came  in,  there  was a large, iron kettle called “Simpson’s  Pot”  into  which  passers-by  tossed  a  coin  or two to help the poor. McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland  Ferry  Landing  at  the  foot  of  Market  Street.  Beside  the  pot,  he  placed  a  sign  that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” He soon  had the money for his Christmas dinner. Six  years  later,  the  kettle  idea  spread  from  the  west  coast  to  the  Boston  area.  That year, the combined effort nationwide  resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for  the  needy.  In  1901,  kettle  contributions  in  New  York  City  provided  funds  for  the  first mammoth sit-down dinner in Madison  Square  Garden,  a  custom  that  continued  for many years.  Today  the  Salvation  Army  assists  more  than  4.5  million  people  in  the  United  States through the Red Kettle campaign.

hard  times.  Every  donation  allows  us  to  meet our mission.” The Red Kettle campaign traces its history to 1891. Salvation Army Capt. Joseph  McFee  was  distraught  because  so  many  poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry. During the holiday season, he  resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken.  He only had one major hurdle to overcome  — funding the project. As he pondered the issue, his thoughts  BELOW: Glen Buell is the Ticonderoga coordinator for drifted back to his sailor days in Liverpool,  the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle drive.

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Story by Fred Herbst Photograph by Nancy Frasier

Christmas in Schroon SCHROON LAKE — Schroon Lake will host its 27th annual  community holiday celebration this winter. Christmas  will  be  observed  Saturday,  Dec.  14,  beginning  at  5:30 p.m. The evening will be sponsored by the Schroon Lake  Chamber of Commerce. The town Christmas tree will be lit at 5:30 p.m., kicking off the  celebration, in the town park. A living nativity scene will march from the park to Our Lady  of Lourdes Church on Main Street, followed by holiday carolers. The  Schroon  Senior  Citizens  Club  will  light  its  memory  tree  following the caroling. Santa will arrive at the Strand Theater to greet children at 6  p.m. There will also be opportunities for children to have photos  taken with Santa. Schroon  Lake  Central  School  music  students  will  perform 

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throughout  the  hamlet  from  6:30  to  8  p.m.  Performances  will  be  held  at  the  Community  Church,  Joannies  Goodies  and  The  Towne Store. There will be horse and carriage rides along with a petting zoo  from 6 to 8 p.m. The Towne Store will host a children’s holiday  craft program at the same time. Throughout the evening the senior center will be open serving  cookies, hot chocolate and coffee.  The chamber will hold a holiday raffle during the celebration.  Tickets will be on sale at the chamber office beginning at noon  and will be sold until the drawing at 8 p.m. People do not need  to be present to win. Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to  local Christmas charities.  ABOVE: A living nativity scene will be part of the Schroon Lake community Christmas celebration Saturday, Dec. 14.

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Story by Thom Randall Photograph by Wauneata Waller

Bolton has Charm, intriguing Boutiques BOLTON LANDING — Main Street in Bolton Landing has always possessed a remarkable charm, as its quaint streetscape features the magnificent backdrop of pristine Lake George. People from around the county and from across the northeast enjoy strolling down the sidewalks, dropping into the upscale shops, boutiques and galleries to browse among a wide variety of wares — many one-of-a-kind. During the holiday season, it’s an extra-special experience, as the businesses have collaborated in setting out extensive, festive Christmas decorations. The Bolton shopping experience has another remarkable attribute: more than a dozen Bolton stores and restaurants will kick off the holiday season with two open house weekends: Saturday Nov. 30 through Dec. 1, as well as Saturday Dec. 7 through Sunday Dec. 8. During both weekends, merchants will host receptions complete with special discounts, delectable refreshments as well as heartfelt small-town hospitality. Businesses participating in the open house weekend include: Serendipity Boutique, Trees Adirondack Gifts & Books, Indian Teepee Gift shop, Happy Jack’s Toys & Gifts, Next Summer housewares, Adirondack Trails Giftware, Adirondack Cotton Co. clothing store, Lake View Trading & Antiques, Black Bass Antiques, Sumptuous Settings Antiques, and Marion Art Gallery. Shopping in Bolton has another favorable aspect: it involves a hefty rebate. On Saturday Nov. 30, a good number of the stores are participating with American Express in the firm’s “Small Business Saturday” promotion. Cardholders who register in advance with American Express will receive a $25 credit when they spend $25 or more at participating local businesses. 50 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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Other attractions include a giant gingerbread house in the lobby of the Sagamore Hotel. For a list of restaurants participating in the open house weekends, contact the Bolton Landing Chamber of Commerce at 6443831 or Serendipity Boutique at 644-2120.

Hometown holiday — with style

The charming ambiance of Bolton doesn’t end with the streetscape and shopping. The town annually holds a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony that offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The town of Bolton’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1 at Rogers Memorial Park. A standout feature of the celebration are the horse-drawn wagon rides, in which Santa participates as a passenger. The fest includes a deejay with live music, community caroling in the park at 3:45 p.m., followed by the tree lighting at 4 p.m. Santa, of course, distributes gifts for the children as he hears Christmas wishes. Refreshments including hot apple cider and cocoa, as well as hot dogs, are provided. Christmas caroling begins at about 3:45 p.m., followed by tree lighting ceremonies at 4 p.m. Santa arrives, bearing Christmas gifts for the children attending. The event also involves plenty of hometown socializing as well, according to Willie Bea McDonald, who had a hand in planning the event. “The ceremonies get everyone in the mood for Christmas,” she said with a smile. ABOVE: Bolton townspeople gather along Main Street to celebrate the season.

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Story and photograph by Thom Randall

Chestertown hosts myriad of Holiday events CHESTERTOWN — Northern Warren County has a lineup of beloved holiday traditions in store for both residents and visitors. A visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus in Chestertown is a revered local event — sponsored by the Chestertown Rotary Club — that has been a highlight of the year for more than four decades. The event is set for Saturday Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Town of Chester Municipal Center on Main St. Children all get an opportunity to have a talk with Santa, and they each receive a valuable gift — and for many of the youngsters, it becomes the most treasured present of the season. Meanwhile, Rotarians take photographs of the children with Santa, and present them for free to parents. While families wait in the hallway, an acoustic musical group plays inspirational holiday music. Plenty of refreshments are available to all. The event also features horse-drawn wagon rides from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., provided by Circle B Ranch. The event is partially funded by Stewart’s Shops Holiday Grant program as well as Rotary members and area citizens.

Gingerbread for one and all

During this meetup event with Santa, the Chester Library holds its annual Gingerbread Workshop — with two sessions, one at 9:30 a.m. and the other at 11 a.m. on Saturday Dec. 7. During these events, children put their creativity to work with the help of parents in crafting an edible holiday home. There is a limit of one house per family, and the fee is $10. Sign up in advance at the library circulation desk, or call 494-5384. In addition, the Chestertown Youth Commission is sponsoring a free 52 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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sugar cookie-decorating workshop at the library starting at 9:30 a.m. the same day.

Christmas Cantata a revered tradition

Northern Warren County’s annual Christmas Cantata will be performed at the Community United Methodist Church in Chestertown at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 — after its earlier debut at 7 p.m. Saturday Dec. 7 in St. Sacrement Episcopal Church in Bolton Landing. Lenore Simpson is the conductor of the ecumenical choir and Robert K. Flachbarth is the accompanist. The Cantata is titled “What Sweeter Music -- a Festival of Carols.” Refreshments will be served after the Sunday performance. A free will offering will be taken at both churches. The cantata is considered a joyous way to welcome in the holiday season. All are welcome to attend.

Holiday Treasures exhibit set

The Art in Chestertown Gallery will host its new “Art Holiday” exhibit from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, beginning Nov. 22. The exhibit, which will include paintings, drawings, mixed media, jewelry and woodworking, runs through Jan. 4 — and the artworks and craft items make ideal holiday gifts. The gallery, known for the innovative, high-quality artwork in its shows, is located at 6378 Route 9 in Chestertown. For more information, call 803-4034. ABOVE: A child confides in Santa and Mrs. Claus, sharing his Christmas dreams during the couple’s 2011 visit to Chestertown. This year’s visit, a treasured holiday tradition in town, is to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday Dec. 7.

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Story by Thom Randall Photograph by Kathy Templeton

Thurman’s Holiday Traditions endure ATHOL — Thurman is a small mountain town with strong rural values, so it’s no surprise its residents celebrate their holidays with enthusiasm and reverence, and pass down these community traditions from one generation to another. As long as anyone can remember, Thurman has held a festive Christmas party geared for children, as well as Thurman’s Country Christmas Bazaar — which features crafts representing a wide range of rural handiwork from past eras. It’s a Christmas fest in Thurman! The annual Thurman Christmas Party is to be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Dec. 14 at the Thurman Town Hall, and the venue is likely to be packed with smiling youngsters as well as convivial adults. Santa is expected to arrive by fire truck, bearing gifts for children from infants through 12 years. Each child spends time with Santa, sharing Christmas wishes and dreams. Featured at the holiday party are games, prizes, food and perhaps craft activities — and maybe caroling outside the hall.

Craft bazaar showcases skills of past era

Thurman’s Country Christmas Bazaar is to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30. Each year, there’s an impressive array of handcrafted goods that 54 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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represent age-old rural traditions. Among the artisans showing their crafts are Donna Wormwood with her intricate Adirondack miniature furniture crafted out of items found in nature, Winifred Martin with her paper-bead jewelry and stained glass stepping stones, Avis Russell with her handcrafted quilts and Mary Kenyon with her handmade mittens and table runners — plus another local old-timer with her amazing embroidered pillow cases and other linens. Folks from all over the region annually attend the bazaar with the intent of obtaining one-of-a-kind holiday gifts for friends and family members. A variety of baked goods are to be available. Door prizes and refreshments top off the event. The bazaar vendor fees provide funds for Thurman’s Christmas Basket program, an annual effort that shares holiday cheer with those living alone. Donations to support the program and help in making baked goods to be included in the baskets would be welcomed. For more information, call Cheryl Kenyon at 623-9718. ABOVE: Santa pauses from his duties during the 2012 Thurman Christmas Party to observe a local youngster admiring holiday decorations. The 2013 edition of the popular event is to be held Saturday Dec. 14.

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Story by Thom Randall

Christmas in Warrensburg

WARRENSBURG — While many people spend early-December weekends driving between malls and big-box stores, others head for Warrensburg to experience the traditional ambiance and activities of the holiday season. This year’s edition of Christmas in Warrensburg, set for Saturday Dec. 7 through Sunday Dec. 8, marks its 25th year of celebrating the holidays. The festival features craft demonstrations and sales, caroling, church bazaars, children’s activities, traditional acoustic music, gift shopping, and profound hospitality throughout the community. Event founder Teresa Whalen said Tuesday it’s been heartwarming to see more and more people each year discovering the holiday traditions that Christmas in Warrensburg emphasizes. “Our holiday festival has grown and flourished, and has enjoyed ever-increasing appeal to visitors who come here and stay for a weekend,” she said. This year’s theme, “And the Bells shall Ring Out,” refers to the ringing of church bells throughout Warrensburg on the day of the town’s Bicentennial this past Feb. 12 and around the Warren County for the county’s bicentennial on March 12 — and the Warrensburg holiday fest will be the observing these two milestones. A secondary theme of Christmas in Warrensburg, Whalen said, is 56 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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about sustainable living in our local community — including a focus on locally produced, handcrafted foods and goods. For a quarter-century, Christmas in Warrensburg has brought people of all ages together in a festive spirit, and promoted spiritual and cultural enrichment, she said. “Our theme embraces aspects of small-town life in our community we’re thankful for and we’re happy to share with others,” she said. “It’s all about sharing an old-fashioned holiday celebration in the Adirondack Mountains.” When this holiday book went to press, a schedule for the festival had not been finalized, but events are likely to be held in a similar fashion as prior years. • Friday, Christmas-themed readings are presented by authors, 7 p.m. at Willows Bistro, Main St. downtown. Saturday’s activities include: • Warrensburg Town Hall is converted into “Toyland,” complete with a variety of children’s activities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Here, children will be making gingerbread houses, ornaments and other crafts including wooden toys. Also, Santa will be visiting with live reindeer, giving rides for children in a cart. There will be bake sales and food concessions, and holiday postal cancellations. Photos with Santa will be available from 10 a.m. to noon. Mid-day

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A57 activities include local school bands playing holiday music. • Mini-Festival of Trees, showcasing various decorating ideas for the holidays, from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday at Cecilia’s Catholic Church. • Exhibits and tips on using local, healthy foods in holiday meals and celebrations. • At most all the churches downtown, there will be bazaars and food sales. Plus, a craft sale is also featured at the Countryside Adult Home, Schroon River Rd. • Craft demonstrations and sales will also be held, at Riverside Gallery and Miller Art & Frame, with traditional rug hooking, spinning and weaving and perhaps porcupine quill work. • Wagon rides for children and blacksmithing demonstrations, both new this year and situated at the Warrensburg Senior Center on Main St.. • Stories and music and perhaps puppetry for children at Richards Library. • Music for the Christmas season from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras performed on acoustic recorders by members of Courtly Music Unlimited, • Open Houses at various local businesses. • Book signings and readings by local authors, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. • The annual tree-lighting ceremony at the uptown Floyd Bennett Memorial Bandstand is at 6 p.m. Saturday, featuring the arrival of Santa, caroling, music, hot chocolate and cookies. The event features live music by a local youth band and caroling.

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• Holiday Dinner specials offered at local restaurants. Sunday’s activities include: • Holiday craft fair, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Echo Lake Lodge off Hudson St., with dozens of artisans and crafters demonstrating and displaying their wares. • Breakfast with Santa, at Willows Bistro, Upper Main St., 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, in St. Cecilia’s Church parish hall on Main St. • On both days, the Warrensburg Museum of Local History is featuring their “Doll Houses & Room Boxes” holiday exhibit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Whalen said she was excited about the celebration’s landmark 25th anniversary, which might include an English handbell concert, and dance performances by youth. A living nativity scene is also being planned, she said. “This event is for families and children - a time for our community to get together to share the holiday spirit,” she said. “It’s been a quartercentury of music, magic and memories.”

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A58 Story and Photographs by Thom Randall

Polar Express to Return NORTH CREEK — Children around central New York and the Adirondacks should be ecstatic about the upcoming holiday season: the Polar Express excursion of the Saratoga-North Creek Railway has returned! The Polar Express trips have smashed records and surpassed all expectations for the two years since they’ve been introduced. These themed excursions offered by the railroad begin Nov. 15 and run through Dec. 29. The excursions re-tell the classic children’s story of a magical Christmas train, a tale that was turned into a movie in 2004. The series of 70 or so Polar Express train trips, taking children to “the North Pole” and back, were a first-ever for the Capital Region when introduced — and the excitement over the experience hasn’t faded since. During the one-hour excursions, the classic tale comes to life, complete with singing elves, dancing chefs and a visit by Santa. The story is read aloud and the music of the movie plays aloud during the trip, prompting sing-alongs. The excursion features cookies, cocoa and caroling. Santa boards the train at the North Pole to greet passengers and all children receive the “Silver Bell” made famous by the treasured tale. Children and family members are invited to attend in pajamas. The one-hour trips are taken daily at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. daily (except for Monday) from Nov. 15 through Nov. 30 — but not on Thanksgiving Day— then Dec. 1 through Dec. 22, plus Dec. 23, 27 28 and 29. Boarding is at the Saratoga Springs Train Station, 26 Station Lane. Premium tickets include a commemorative mug. Prices 58 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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range from $15 to $50 depending on age and class of service. The Saratoga-North Creek Railway also offers scenic trips to North Creek and back throughout the year, as well as special dinner excursions and “Snow Train” service that transports skiers in style from the Capital Region to Gore Mountain — as well as various small towns along the way. For details on schedules, events, services and pricing, visit: or see: www. or call 877-726-RAIL (7245). AT TOP: Santa greets Arlinda Birdsall and her triplet grandchildren Nick, Luke and Kate during a kickoff for the Saratoga & North Creek Railway’s Polar Express excursions in 2011. This year, the ever-popular storybook trips run from Nov. 15 through December. ABOVE: Saratoga & North Creek Railway Conductor Steve Conklin assists children as they board a passenger dome car in 2011 at the Saratoga Rail Station to celebrate the debut of the railway’s holiday Polar Express storybook excursions.

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Story and photograph by Thom Randall

Supersize your Holidays in Lake George LAKE GEORGE — The village of Lake George does things in a big way, and their annual holiday kick-off festival is no exception. Their “Lite up Lake George” event, set this year for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday Nov. 30, features thousands of colorful crystalline lights adorning trees in Shepard Park to be energized to the delight of the hundreds of people gathered to watch. For years, this festival has featured live Christmas music and a holiday show with an entertainer leading the public in singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas” — with children invited on stage to sing a phrase or two. This year, the ever popular Bobby Dick will be headlining the show. A community sing-along is to begin at 4:30 p.m. followed by Bobby Dick’s one-hour holiday show beginning at 5 p.m.. Santa is scheduled to arrive at about 5:45 p.m. and lead the park-illumination ceremony, accompanied by fireworks at about 6 p.m. At that point, the celebration moves to the Lake George Firehouse where the giant red-suited elf will greet the area’s children and the members of the village Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary will provide free refreshments. At the firehouse, the Lake George Community Band will be playing holiday music from 6 to 7 p.m.

New Year’s Polar Plunge draws huge crowd

Whether people do it to boost their vitality, impress their friends, win over the heart of a suitor, or prove one’s insanity, more and more people have participated each year in the Lake George New Years Day Polar Plunge. What started out years ago as a frigid frolic of several dozen people has developed into a colorful, fanciful and mass plunge into Lake George by more than 1,500 revelers — and on Jan. 1, 2014, it may exceed that mark, event organizer Linda Duffy said.

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“It’s truly awesome, and everyone has such a good time,” she said. This year, the mass frigid swim returns to Shepard Park Beach, its traditional site. The first wave of 400 swimmers are to rush into the waters at 1 p.m., and the spectacle repeats itself every half-hour. Registration begins at 10 a.m. at Duffy’s Tavern, and it’s a good idea not to be late, as the line can get pretty long. For a registration donation of $10, participants receive a commemorative Tshirt that’s likely to impress others back home, Duffy said. “The polar plunge is almost like a baptism,” she said. “It’s a zany celebration of life, in which people wash away their concerns of last year and plunges into the new.” Details on the event are available at: AT TOP: Thousands of people annually take a frigid swim in Lake George to ring in the new year and wash away the old, during the village’s New Years Day Polar Plunge — one of the most popular events all year. ABOVE: In Lake George’s annual Lite Up the Village fest, trees throughout Shepard Park are illuminated, providing a colorful display with the lake as a scenic backdrop.

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Ski the Face Whiteface Mountain


Story by Andy Flynn Photographs by ORDA

WILMINGTON — The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) will be debuting its latest trail at the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center this winter. “It’s a 4.7-acre glade, and it’s called Rand’s Last Stand,” said ORDA Communications Manager Jon Lundin. “It adds to our 283 acres of skiable terrain.” At 1,500 feet long, Rand’s Last Stand is double-diamond expert terrain allowing skiers to connect from Hoyt’s High Trail on Lookout Mountain to the Summit Chair lift. Other mountain improvements during the off-season also included the addition of 35 lowenergy snow guns that will provide efficient snow coverage on Easy Street, Broadway and Excelsior. The mountain has also purchased an energy efficient boom fan snow gun that will be used to cover the mountain’s Lower Valley trail. “We’re always looking for new ways to be more efficient and cover the mountain with more snow,” Lundin said. Operators of Whiteface Mountain — the largest ski center in the northern Adirondacks — hope to open the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 29. For 23 consecutive years, Whiteface/Lake Placid has been selected as the top destination for Off -Hill Activities by readers of SKI Magazine. The 2014 survey also tabbed Whiteface Mountain as the 10th top ski resort in the eastern United States. Whiteface also received kudos for Après Ski Activities (No. 4), Challenge (4), Scenery (No. 5), Character (No. 6), Dining (No. 9) and Overall Value (No. 10). This past spring, SnowEast Magazine readers chose Whiteface Lake Placid as New York state’s No. 1 ski resort. The more than 6,000 participants in the survey also named Whiteface Lake Placid as the east’s second overall favorite ski resort and the east’s most scenic. Whiteface opened in 1958 and has earned its place in the annals of big-mountain skiing. It has the greatest vertical drop in the East at 3,430 feet. There are 87 trails, 11 lifts including a gondola, terrain parks, 53 acres of glades skiing, and six restaurants. Whiteface is known as the Olympic Mountain, as this was the site for alpine skiing events during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. Visit online at

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More Gore Gore Mountain

Story by Andy Flynn Photographs by ORDA

FOUR NEW TRAILS NORTH CREEK — The Gore Mountain Ski Center will be adding several new trails this winter — Boreas Glades, Ridge Runner Glades, Little Gore Glades and Hedges Trail. By the time the mountain opens for business — hopefully the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 29 — people will have an opportunity to learn more about the new trails at this popular ski center, the largest in the southern Adirondacks. It is operated by the state Olympic Regional Development Authority. “I think people will be most excited about the Hedges Trail,” said Gore Mountain Marketing Manager Emily Stanton. “Gore has a multi-peak layout. We’re developed on nine sides of four peaks, so getting people from one peak to the other efficiently has been a priority of Gore’s in its terrain development in the last few years.” The Hedges Trail brings people from the top of the Burnt Ridge Quad to the Tahawus Trail on the north side. The Boreas Glades is the largest trail expansion for Gore this year, offering a Burnt Ridge Mountain adventure. They are located between Barkeater Glades and the Sagamore trail. North Creek’s Historic Ski Bowl will get two new glades this winter. The Ridge Runner Glades will connect The Oak Ridge Trail to Moxham, and the Little Gore Glades will connect the top of Village Slopes to the Hudson Chair lift.

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It’s makeover time for beginners. One other improvement at Gore will be at the Kids Klub, a name that is misleading since it is for beginner skiers of all ages, not just children. Renovations include the installation of a 150-foot conveyor lift. From the top of the conveyor lift, beginners can: a) ski back down; b) access the base of the Bear Cub Poma; c) board a second 100-foot conveyor; or ) explore the newly improved terrain garden offering gentle earthen features that help develop skills and shape turns. “It’s very helpful for people learning how to ski,” Stanton said. “And that’s going to be available for people of all ages in the beginner lessons.” Other improvements at Gore include: •a deck for the Tannery Pub & Restaurant that will seat 108 people with slopeside views; •a new cafe/apres ski service bar; and •snowmaking enhancements that include tower-mounted fan guns in both the Saddle area above the entrance to Twister and another on Cloud. With 94 alpine trails including 19 glades, Gore Mountain is home to 2,537 vertical feet and the most skiable acreage in New York state. Fourteen lifts — including the Northwoods Gondola — delivers skiers and snowboarders to nine sides of Gore’s four unique peaks (Gore, Bear, Burnt Ridge, and Little Gore mountains). Visit online at Vol. 2 No. 4 | North Country Living Magazine | 63

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Lights On

in North Creek Search for Santa at the Lights On festival NORTH CREEK — The annual Lights On Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7 and will start with the tolling of the Methodist Church Carillon at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. on the Mundy property on Main Street, North Creek, and will include caroling led by Denise Conti. The Rev. Wayne Schoonmaker will lead the invocation and prayer for peace. This year, instead of walking to the Owens House to see Santa and Mrs. Claus, families will hop on board the Candy Cane Train — sponsored by the Saratoga & North Creek Railway — at the North Creek Depot and take a short ride to rescue Santa. “We’re going to start the event without Santa,” said Light On Committee member Laurie Arnheiter. The elves will tell the kids that Santa Claus is missing, and they need to search for him. The train ride starts around 7 p.m. and will be free. At the end of

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Story by Andy Flynn Photograph provided

the line, the train finds Santa, his reindeers and sleigh. “They will rescue Santa,” Arnheiter said. “They’ll put him on the train and bring him back to the station.” Once back at the depot, kids of all ages can have cookies and punch and take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Festivities on Saturday, Dec. 7 start with Breakfast with Santa from 7 to 10:30 a.m. at the North Creek firehouse. It will be followed by the annual parade down Main Street, tentatively set for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus ride on a float in the parade. The annual Lights On Craft Fair runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Copperfield Inn on Main Street. It will feature hand-crafted, artisan creations and a silent auction. People are asked to bring an unwrapped toy or canned food item for the Adirondack Community Outreach Center and receive one free silent auction ticket. Admission is free. In the afternoon, the Saratoga & North Creek Railway will again run Candy Cane Train excursions at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. The cost is expected to be $5 per person. The railway is donating staff time for this community event.

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Country Christmas Tour Story by Andy Flynn Photograph by Jon Voorhees

Shoppers have selection of Adirondack-made gifts available in Indian Lake INDIAN LAKE — This is 16th year Indian Lake businesses have invited shoppers to find their holiday gifts during the Country Christmas Tour. And this year, there’s a focus on local products. The theme is “Made in the Adirondacks.” The Country Christmas Tour gives visitors an inside view of the lives and work of many local and regional artisans and crafters. This townwide holiday activity is designed to promote community pride and holiday spirit. The Tour is a two-day event on the weekend after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 30. It was designed to be unique and more extensive than traditional craft fairs and festivals. It is a self-guided tour to visit artisans and crafters who offer a variety of holiday gift items for sale in their homes and at numerous locations throughout the town. Here are the participating venues: Abanakee Studio, Homemade Quilts and Crafts, North Country Crafters, Lorraine Powers, Dolores Weisinger, Indian Lake Garden Club, Indian Lake Methodist Church, Pine’s Country Store, Kim Ameden, Nancy Harding, Rose Burgess, Janet Johnson, Dan McFadden, Diane and George McCane, The Lake Store, Mary Vianese, Deb Coller, Frank and Fran Casazza, Kelly King, Vonnie Liddle, Ginny Clawson, Heidi Plumley, Bernadette Traeger, Brenda Bruso, Kellie Aldous, Jeannie Turner, Susan Rollings, Kim Dolan, Brian and Ron Morris, Donna, Benton, Robin Jay and Julia Gundel, Tina Summerwood and Maggie Dulany, Annelies and Temple Taylor and the Adirondack Museum Store. In addition to shopping, visitors are invited to see how many of their gift items are crafted. While parents shop for their holiday gifts, youngsters are invited to attend the “Gifts to Give” Children’s Workshop, which is designed to engage youngsters in hands-on activities as they make their holiday gifts. New on this year’s tour will be “Story Time with Mrs. and Mr.

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Claus.” During this visit, youngsters will hear special Christmas stories, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies and take family souvenir photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. An annual family favorite on the tour continues to be Willemson’s Model Train Exhibit and Demonstration. While there, check out the beautiful jewelry on display at the Willemson’s. Also, during the visit, interested shoppers are invited to see their personal ring being made while they wait. The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts holiday production will feature “Miracle on 34th Street.” This musical is pure family entertainment and will feature many local performers. The musical will be held, 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Indian Lake Theater. Admission is $20, $15 for members and $5 for children 12 and under accompanied with their parents. The “Let There Be Lights” holiday lighting and decorating contest, sponsored by the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce, is a local family favorite and is designed to promote community pride and holiday spirit among Indian Lake residents, businesses and community organizations. A drive around town is a must to view creative lighting and decorative displays. Winners of the lighting contest will be announced during the closing ceremonies. The annual Country Christmas Tour Closing Ceremony will be held Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Ski Hut on Route 30. During the ceremony, sponsors of the “Let there Be Lights” holiday contest will present cash awards to winners. The agenda will also include door prize drawings, courtesy of CCT artisan and crafters. There will be free hot chocolate and cookies and dee-jay Bob Marriott. Visitors to Indian Lake will be able to locate artisans and crafters, businesses and activities with ease, as brochures/maps will be available at the Chamber of Commerce, Town Hall and at many businesses and crafters throughout the town. For further information about the Country Christmas Tour call Annelies Taylor at (518) 352-1962. Vol. 2 No. 4 | North Country Living Magazine | 65

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A66 Take a dip in

Long Lake

this holiday season

Polar Bear Plunge and more LONG LAKE — The Town of Long Lake Parks and Recreation Department will present many events throughout the 2013 holiday season. December will kick off with the Winter Expedition Program with Certified Guide Spencer Morrissey. Expeditions will include Blue Mountain (Dec. 7), a hike to the summit of one of the taller firetower peaks with amazing views of the entire region. Approximate distance is 7 miles round-trip. Residents and Property Owners in the Towns of Long Lake and Raquette Lake may register for these hikes at no charge. Otherwise, there is a charge (family rates available). Call (518) 624-3077 to register. On Saturday, Dec. 14 , residents of Long Lake and Raquette Lake can take part in the yearly tradition of Lunch with Santa. This lunch at the Long Lake Town Hall is free; however, in order to ensure each 66 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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child receives a gift, parents must pre-register by calling the town offices at (518) 624-3077. On Dec. 28, the popular Polar Bear Plunge returns to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Plungers dip in the water of Long Lake. As always, costumes are encouraged. In order to participate, all plungers must first register and pass a medical check. Registration is at the Adirondack Hotel from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The plunge will take place at the Long Lake Town Beach at 1 p.m. The New Year’s Eve Champagne Special offers transportation for celebrators from 5 p.m. until last call. The Long Lake Little Bus will be rolling through town, providing safe transportation for all. Revelers can start the evening with a special dining experience at one of our local restaurants. The bus will pick you up from your home or lodging and take you anywhere within the town for free. Call (518) 624-3077 for more information. Visit online at

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olf G Indoors? Story and Photographs by Shawn Ryan

Now there is no reason to leave the North Country to get in one more round The golfing season no longer ends in the North Country once the snow starts to fly. Indoor virtual golf has advanced to the point that the only thing missing from playing a real round of golf is zipping around the course in a cool little golf cart between shots. Hit a shot into the water and you’ll hear the splash. If you hit with a slice, your ball will slice on the screen and land in the rough. But if you do tend to slice, you can use the computer feedback given for every shot to diagnose and fix your swing. With multiple cameras on the ball when you strike it, a good computer system will tell you your club speed, swing path, the angle of your club face on contact, distance your ball traveled, ball and club speed, and many other key ingredients to a good golf swing. Indoor golf is no longer just a way to keep from losing your swing through the long winter. You might even come out in the spring with a better swing than you had the previous fall. Along with the indoor experience comes the fact that most indoor ranges offer some sort of food, and especially drinks. From bar food to full meals, soda to mixed drinks, you no longer have to wait until the “19th hole” to slake your appetite. However, indoor ranges are few and far between in the North Country. Start-up costs for high end, high definition simulators 68 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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are very prohibitive, so you might need to travel a little to find one. In this issue we traveled to two indoor ranges, one in South Burlington, Vt., and one in Queensbury, N.Y..

Gonzo’s Indoor Golf SOUTH BURLINGTON — When you walk into Gonzo’s Indoor Golf on Williston Road, the feel you first have is of a well appointed sports bar. Looking around, however, you notice that along the walls are a series of cavernous driving ranges, all named after famous PGA golfers. There are eight simulators in all. The entire back wall of the three sided cave-like simulator ranges are dominated by a highdefinition projection of whichever course you choose to play, projected onto a wall of canvas. All of the famous PGA courses are available, complete with the sound of waves lapping at the shore for a sea-side course, and birds chirping for others. “I think the realism really brings people in,” says Gonzo’s owner Steve Gonsalves. “It’s a great place to learn golf because it’s less intimidating.” In the center of the range sits a tee, next to a patch of turf

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A69 sembling a green, and another patch the length of a typical rough, and another for a sand trap. Your ball is placed according to where your previous shot landed. Close to the screen is where you would putt from. Lines on the green depict the break, and you have to direct your putt accordingly. Next, as they say, comes gripping and ripping. Gonsalves, a golf pro at The Links at Lang Farm during the summer months, is available for professional lessons for a separate fee. There is a modest pro shop at Gonzo’s with merchandise and clubs. In about an hour Gonsalves can fit a customer for a set of clubs. “Club fitting is a big thing in spring and early summer,” he says. You can bring your own clubs when you play, or use that clubs that are provided. Two options popular with non-golfers or those just learning the game is a screen that depicts Giant’s Stadium, and the golfer has to try to make a field goal, and another depicting a stone building where the golfer tries to break windows. After a day on the links, or for the less serious golfer, Gonzo’s has a well stocked bar with several televisions tuned to various sports channels. There are also pool tables, ping pong, shuffleboard and foose ball tables. Gonzo’s also teams up with a restaurant a few doors down who will deliver food orders upon request. Gonsalves says that people travel from southern Vermont and from across the lake in Plattsburgh to play in the winter. “With all the stresses in life, in the winter time it’s a little reprieve. You can watch T. V., play golf, maybe have a cold drink.” For more private parties or gatherings, Gonzo’s has a back room with its own golf simulator and a massive television. Several leagues play at Gonzo’s all winter, and tee times should be reserved in advance. They also do corporate outings, kid’s parties, and bachelor and bachelorette parties. Gonzo’s is also available for fund raisers, and have held several very successful fund raisers over the past year. Gonzo’s is located on Williston Rd., also known as Route 2, 1.7 miles east of I-87 at exit 14E. Gonzo’s is open year round. For information on hours or to reserve a tee time or party time, call 802-881-0660, or go to for information and a 360 degree virtual tour of the store.

Bay Meadows Golf Center QUEENSBURY — Bay Meadows Golf Center has a well appointed indoor golf center, featuring five simulators. People familiar with the golf channel will recognize the simulators as those used by instructor Michael Breed. They feature 43 different courses to play on. Several are PGA courses, and there are even some courses from Florida and Myrtle Beach that patrons may be familiar with from playing on them during vacations. These simulators also offer immediate feedback such as launch angle, the yards the ball traveled, club head speed, ball speed, velocity, angle of club face on contact, and direction of swing. When you hit the ball, if it would have been a bad shot outside, it’ll be a bad shot on the simulator, you just won’t have to search for it after. Bay Meadows has several leagues that play all winter. Often as

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many as 20 people are playing on the simulators at once on league nights. “When you play outside, you’re not playing together. Here, you can see what he’s doing, you can see what he’s doing, so its more social, you get to talk a little more smack and things like that,” says co-owner and General Manager Deric Buck. Buck bought Bay Meadows along with his mother, Faith Buck, which included a 9-hole golf course, a year ago. While you play, Bay Meadows offers a pub menu and a fully stocked bar. They also have a restaurant on site for after your round, or for a special occasion. “We do Jack & Jill parties, like baby showers and while the women are in the dining room, the men are out here playing golf,” Buck says. “We do bachelor parties as well. We can set up a buffet along the wall.” They also have a small, but well stocked, pro shop. Bay Meadows, too, is available for fund raisers. Bay Meadows is open year-round for indoor golf. Tee times fill up quickly in the winter, so by late January or February, times should be reserved two weeks in advance, especially for weekends. Buck also agrees that playing year round helps to retain muscle memory, so you’ll be playing better in the spring than if you hadn’t played all winter. Bay Meadows is centrally located to both the Glens Falls/Saratoga regions, as well as the Capital District. From exit 19 off I-87, it’s a short trip east via Quaker Road, then left onto Bay Road, and right onto Cronin Road. OPPOSITE PAGE: Steve Gonsalves at his Williston Road indoor golf facility. ABOVE: Deric Buck readies a drive in one of his five golf simulators at Bay Meadows Golf Center. Vol. 2 No. 4 | North Country Living Magazine | 69

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Story by Lou Varricchio

Church Street: Home for the Holidays BURLINGTON — The Church Street Marketplace was born in 1981. Thanks to careful planning and ongoing community support, more than 3 million people (five-times the population of Vermont) visit annually to shop, dine or just wander. The winter holidays are an ideal time visit Church Street to enjoy shopping, dining, and live events. The expanse of pedestrian space on the Marketplace allows the full range of residents and visitors to mix in a true community. It features fountains at two locations, extensive brick paving with granite accents, and numerous sculptures, as well as its own distinctive feature: locally quarried boulders placed on two blocks, which offer unique seating and climbing opportunities. Of particular interest is the Church Street Earth Line, a unique brick and granite band of engraved stones with proportionally separated world city locations running north-south up the center of the street, giving visitors a quick and engaging geography lesson.

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The Marketplace’s Victorian and Art Deco structures are complemented by modern in fill buildings, the height of which is restricted to preserve the appearance of historic structures. Zoning promotes both ground-floor retail and upper-story office and residential uses. Nearly two-dozen cafes with outdoor dining line its four blocks (and despite Burlington’s harsh climate, they remain open throughout much of the year). The dining options range from street vendor staples like hot dogs and unconventional street fare like crepes and dumplings to indoor dining in sushi bars, steakhouses, pubs, and a variety of other restaurants. The cart vendor program offers entrepreneurs just starting out with an opportunity to start and grow a small business on Vermont’s busiest street (The Vermont Teddy Bear company began in the Marketplace’s cart vendor program). The Marketplace also auditions more than 150 street entertainers each year, from singers and musicians to magicians and jugglers. Non-profit tabling is welcomed, and organizations of all types take

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A73 advantage of promoting their causes here. The Church Street Marketplace offers an eclectic mix of shopping. Discover the perfect outfit, that sought-after piece of furniture, or explore gift ideas at a local gallery! Look for all of Church Street’s boutiques and retailers here and explore Burlington Town Center. There are numerous annual events on the Marketplace. These include: Church Street Marketplace Ice Walk - Feb. 6 Mardi Gras Parade sponsored by Magic Hat Brewery - Feb. 27 Halloween costume parade - Oct. 24 Holiday Lights and lighting ceremony - November 27 Ferrari Parade Street Rod Parade Sidewalk Sale Days Summer concert series Festival of Fools Burlington Criterium cycling race First Night New Years Eve celebration sponsored by Skip Farrell and Pepsi - Dec. 31 This Christmas-New Year’s holiday season on Church Street Marketplace starts at Thanksgiving: Church Street Santa Parade and Lighting Ceremony (Nov. 29): Santa makes a quick trip to the Marketplace during his busy season to kick off the annual Holiday Parade on the Church Street Marketplace the day after Thanksgiving. The parade starts at noon on City Hall Block and ends on the Mall Block. Lots of festive seasonal entertainment will follow the parade! All children and those who are young-at-heart are welcome. At 5:30 p.m. Church Street officially and joyfully begins the holiday season with a classic rendition of the stage production, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Beautifully costumed and professionally presented, this humorous and delightful performance brightens

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the eyes of children and gladdens the hearts of young and old alike. Carolers will sing on the Marketplace prior to the show and all are invited to sing along. The performance culminates with the illumination of 250,000 LCD lights on Church Street, a cherished tradition. Official lighting time is 6:02 p.m. A 50-foot holiday tree is lit with thousands of colored LCD lights in shades of red, gold, tangerine, blue and green. It shines the full length of the Marketplace, a beacon to all lovers of the holiday season. PICTURED: Church Street Marketplace in downtown Burlington, is Vermont’s home for the holidays. Weekend events, which start in late November, last all through the Christmas-New Year’s period. From shopping and dining to Santa and caroling, Church Street is where Vermonters go to enjoy the season. Photos courtesy of Church Street Marketplace

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Vergennes Holiday Stroll

and the festive Vergennes City Park lighting of the trees. Last, but not least, the Vergennes Union Elementary School’s 13th Annual Winter Holiday Fair will be held 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This fun craft fair includes 60 plus vendors, food, and donated raffle. To enter the event, bring a non-perishable food item for Vergennes Community Food Shelf. The event benefits the VUES After School Enrichment Program. The fair takes place at 43 East St. in Vergennes. For a complete Vergennes Holiday Stroll schedule closer to the date, visit the or call 802-388-7951, extension 1.

Story by Lou Varricchio Photograph by J. Kirk Edwards

VERGENNES — The annual all-day Vergennes Holiday Stroll and Winter Craft Fair event gets underway Saturday, Dec. 7, 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m. The holiday event is geared for all ages and has become a delightful tradition in Vermont’s Little City. It may be the state’s smallest incorporated city, but Vergennes is big on history and charm. Settled in 1766 by Donald MacIntosh, Vergennes was the only Vermont city not to have been first chartered as a town or independent village. “Instead,” according to the town’s own official history, “portions of the pre-existing towns of New Haven, Panton and Ferrisburg where they intersected at the Otter Creek Falls were drawn off to create Vergennes.” Mayor Bill Benton is justifiably proud of his city. He finds the annual Holiday Stroll and Winter Craft Show one of the many things to boast about the Little City. “Vergennes is a unique community with an extraordinary location on Otter Creek in Addison County. We are centrally located between Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains, the City of Burlington and Middlebury College,” according to

Mayor Benton. “Our historic downtown will tempt you with great eating venues and locally owned shops and our architecture will remind you of 19th century New England. Our citizens love living here and enjoy sharing their community,” he says. “The Vergennes Partnership, a Main Street program, was established in 1999. The City has invested in traffic calming and beautification projects and is working to restore the Old Train Station, possibly the oldest clapboard station remaining in Vermont. When the annual Holiday Stroll and Winter Craft Fair rolls around on Dec. 7, there will be a variety of activities to keep young and old busy. Here’s a sneak preview of some of the holiday happenings in the Little City. Enjoy breakfast with Santa Claus held at Vergennes Union High School, get your Christmas shopping underway at the Winter Holiday Craft Fair held at Vergennes Union Elementary School, make a bid at the Bixby Memorial Library’s Silent Auction, stroll, sing, visit, and have a picture taken with Santa, then read a story aloud with Mrs. Claus (yes, she’s making a rare 2013 appearance with her husband in Vermont.

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A popular favorite on the day of the Holiday Stroll will be S.D. Ireland’s fully illuminated Holiday Concrete Mixer Truck, the Addison County Gospel Choir,

ABOVE: Every year, Santa Claus strolls through downtown Vergennes to help kick off a daylong event of fun and shopping. This year’s stroll takes place Dec. 1.

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A75 Find yourself In Vergennes ~ Quaint • Unique • Unexpected Find yourself In Vergennes ~ Quaint • Unique • Unexpected

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Story by Lou Varricchio Photograph by Donna Burke Wilkins

Holidays a Treat at Opera House VERGENNES — The historic Vergennes Opera House, located in downtown Vergennes, Vt., is part of a grand tradition of community-based opera houses that served, historically, as cultural centers and performing arts facilities throughout Vermont.When it comes to celebrating the holidays, the opera house brings the best in music and performances of the season to life. Built in 1897 by, and for the people of Vergennes, it cost $12,000 and took one year to complete. Adorned with the same beautifully painted main stage curtain you see today, it opened its doors and welcomed many famous people including President Taft and Tiny Tim. It hosted political rallies and debates, weddings, school graduations, town meetings, and scores of musical and theatrical performances. In 1901 the Edison Company brought an amazing invention to the Opera House, the Projecting Kinetoscope and showed three short films by the famous director Edwin S. Porter. That was the first time moving pictures were seen in the Addison County area. Since those early days, both the movies and the Vergennes Opera House have undergone a great many changes. By the early 1970s the Opera House had fallen into a bad state of disrepair and was closed. It stayed in darkness for 24 years until a group of volunteers decided to raise money to save it. The group named themselves the Friends of the Vergennes Opera House and with a great deal of help from the community, 76 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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successfully raised and invested more than $1.5 million in the building—a monumental effort for such a small community. The Opera House proudly reopened its doors in July 1997 with a performance by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. Today it serves the 2,500 residents of Vergennes and a population of over 20,000 people from the surrounding area. It is once again a vibrant, cultural and community performing arts facility presenting a diverse range of high quality, accessible performances and educational programs for children and adults year round. It is indeed unique and the concerted effort to restore it has served as a catalyst for the revitalization of the entire Vergennes community. The Friends of the Vergennes Opera House are proud of their role in providing that initial “spark” and we delight in the opportunity to continue to play a starring role in a revitalized and reenergized community. See our inclusive calendar of events in this edition of North Country Living for dates and times of performances at the Vergennes Opera House. For more information, go to or call 802-877-6737. ABOVE: The Vergennes Opera House is northern Addison County’s arts and entertainment hub.

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Story by Lou Varricchio

Middlebury thrives during the winter season MIDDLEBURY — Each December, the Better Middlebury Partnership organizes a series of holiday themed events for families and shoppers in Middlebury, Vt. Enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, hot cocoa and even a visit with jolly old St. Nick, who stops by several local businesses in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The Better Middlebury Partnership (BMP) is a civic organization dedicated to making the Greater Middlebury community a better place to live, work and play. The BMP builds partnerships with the town, Middlebury College, and the business community to promote a vibrant and thriving Middlebury. BMP supports local businesses through signature events, initiatives and the Middlebury Money program. The organization protects the integrity and vitality of Middlebury’s downtown by running the state’s Designated Downtown program, and overseeing the Middlebury Downtown Improvement District. “BMP advocates for projects and initiatives that will contribute to smart economic growth,” according to Karen Duguay, the group’s director, “and, we build community because we believe that it’s the most important thing we can do. Together, we can continue to make Middlebury a better place to live, work and play.” 80 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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Duguay says that shoppers love Middlebury Money; it’s an unusual idea accepted at over 100 local stores, and can be used year round at favorite restaurants, shops, movies, and galleries in town. It’s a special way to support the businesses owned and run by friends and neighbors. “Middlebury Money is a check that comes in a variety of convenient denominations. It can be used as normal currency to shop, dine and play in the Middlebury area. Just stop by National Bank of Middlebury, or the Vermont Bookshop and purchase Middlebury Money in a variety of convenient denominations,” Duguay notes. This holiday season Vermont Merry Middlebury will have something for everyone—from horse-drawn trolley rides to Santa riding around town on one of the Middlebury Fire Department’s big engines. See our inclusive calendar of events in this edition of North Country Living for dates and times of holiday-related happenings this year in Middlebury. ABOVE: Each December, the Better Middlebury Partnership organizes a series of holiday themed events for families and shoppers in Middlebury, Vt. Enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, hot cocoa and even a visit with jolly old St. Nick. Santa stops by several local businesses in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

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Story by Lou Varricchio

Visit the Rutland area this Holiday Season Rutland, Castleton, Killington & Ludlow

The greater Rutland area—which encompasses Castleton, Killington and Ludlow—is one of Vermont’s best regions for winter fun in the snow, arts, entertainment and dining. The Killington and Okemo ski resorts attract visitors from around the northeastern USA. Many local restaurants and shops cater to a variety of holiday needs from traditional “Christmas in Vermont” venues to concerts and caroling. Rutland, which includes downtown’s Merchants Row and the nearby Diamond Run Mall on U.S. Route 7, offe the best shopping opportunities south of Burlington. Here are just a few of the offerings featured in the greater Rutland area during this holiday season:

Rutland & Castleton Sunday, Nov. 23

Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce Vermont Gift Show at Franklin Conference Center, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The Chamber’s Vermont Gift Show is a point of sale event intended to give crafters, businesses and services an opportunity to sell their products and kick off the holiday shopping season. The show is open to both members and non-members of the Chamber at reasonable rates. 82 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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The cost of a 6-foot-long table is only $99 for members and $129 for non-members. Vendors may purchase multiple tables if desired. Call 802-773-2747.

Friday, Nov. 29 & Saturday, Nov. 30

Rutland presents comic Rusty DeWees’ “The Holiday Variety Show” at the Paramount Theatre, 30 Center St., 8 p.m., tickets $24. Call 802-775-0903.

Tuesday, Dec. 3

Castleton State College Fine Arts Center presents “Spanish Brass”, a world winning brass quintet that wows with their musical range, crossing continents and spanning centuries, 7 p.m., in the campus Casella Theater. For details, call 802-468-1119. Friday, Dec. 6, Saturday, Dec. 7 & Monday, Dec. 16 Rutland Free Library holds its Winter Book Sale with thousands of books, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, and puzzles for all ages, 10 Court St., 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 802-773-1860.

Saturday, Dec. 7

Catamount Radio presents The Santa Train departing from downtown Rutland, at the Vermont Amtrak Station. More information to follow. Call 802-773-2747

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A83 Thursday, Dec. 12

Castleton State College Fine Arts Center presents Castleton Jazz & Collegiate Chorale, directed by Glenn Giles & Sherrill Blodget, Together these Castleton Ensembles will rock the house with great jazz tunes from Big Band to contemporary, 7 p.m.,at the campus Casella Theater, 802-468-1119.

Friday, Dec. 13

Rutland presents “Madeline and the Bad Hat”, an original musical based upon the much-loved book, captures the blithe yet touching spirit of Ludwig Bemelmans’s Madeline series. It traces the adventures of a young Parisian girl who, despite starting off on the wrong foot with a mischievous new neighbor, eventually learns that first impressions aren’t everything, at the Paramount Theatre, 30 Center St., 10 a.m., tickets $6.50. Call 802-775-0903.

Saturday, Dec. 21

Rutland presents “Falstaff” with Music Director James Levine conducting Verdi’s opera for the first time at the Met since 2005. Robert Carsen’s production—the first new Met Falstaff since 1964—is set in the English countryside in the mid-20th century. Ambrogio Maestri (last season’s Dulcamara in the Opening Night production of L’Elisir d’Amore) sings the title role of the brilliant and blustery Sir John Falstaff, opposite a marvelous ensemble that includes Angela Meade, Stephanie Blythe, Lisette Oropesa, and Franco Vassallo. Paramount Theatre, 30 Center St., 12:55 p.m., tickets $20 Adults $10 Students. Call 802-775-0903.

Sunday, Dec. 22

Rutland presents the Albany Berkshire Ballet performing the holiday favorite The Nutcracker at the Paramount Theatre, 30 Center St., 2-6 p.m., tickets $39.50 Adults 29.50 Students. Call 802-775-0903.

Tuesday, Dec. 31

The Town of Belmont presents New Year’s Eve at Star Lake at 9 p.m. Welcome in the New Year with good friends, good cheer, fireworks, a bonfire and skating. Co-sponsored with the Mount Holly Sno Drifter.


In Killington, on the mountain east of downtown Rutland on U.S. Route 4, th community celebrates the holidays on skis. The Killington Resort hosts many holiday activities during the season:

Saturday, Nov. 23

Killington Arts Guild Opening Reception will feature Vermont artist Alice Sciore, 1-3:30 p.m., in the upstairs Gallery at Base Camp Outfitters/Cabin Fever Gifts, 2363 Route 4 across from the Killington Road. For further information call 802-422-3642. Free and open to the public, refreshments served.

Saturday, Nov. 30

The Warren Miller movie “Snowshed Lodge is a ticket to ride. Call 802-422-3642 for times and details.

Wednesday, Dec. 4

Ski Race Series: Ski Bum, Highline Trail. Local teams of skiers, snowboarders and telemark skiers race down Highline in pursuit of Ski Bum Glory.

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Saturday, Dec. 7

Rails 2 Riches: Highline Trail. The East Coast’s top rail jam, back for 2013, boasts an astounding $20,000 cash purse.

Sunday, Dec. 8

Killington Arts Guild Open Meeting for planning the next series of art events, open to the community, come share your ideas, 2-4 p.m. in the upstairs Gallery at Base Camp Outfitters/Cabin Fever Gifts, 2363 Route 4, Killington. For further information call Sally Curtis at 802-422-3852.

Wednesday, Dec. 11

Race Series: Ski Bum on the Highline Trail Local teams of skiers, snowboarders and telemark skiers race down Highline in pursuit of Ski Bum Glory.

Tuesday, Dec. 17, Wednesday Dec. 18, Christmas Day & New Year’s Day

The test Fest at K-1 Lodge. A colossal two- day demo event with over 30 reps and all the latest gear. Later, local teams of skiers, snowboarders and telemark skiers race down Highline in pursuit of Ski Bum Glory.

Saturday, Dec. 21

Park Series: K-Town Showdown on Mouse Run. Calling all park rats. This year K-Town Showdown will consist of three events - two rail jams and a slopestyle competition.

Monday, Jan. 6

Collegiate Winter Games. Killington college weeks are filled with on-snow and nightly off-hill activities and parties for college students.


The Town of Ludlow sits at the base of Okemo Mountain with lots of winter sporting activities. During the holidays, downtown Ludlow shops are decked out for all your shopping needs. The Black River Academy Museum in Ludlow is also a destination for holiday activities:

Friday Dec. 6 & Saturday, Dec. 7

Black River Academy Museum Annual Holiday Program to be held in the renovated auditorium in Ludlow Town Hall, 37 Depot St. Seasonal songs by the group “What Are We Doing This Four” begin at 6 p.m., followed by a wonderful, comic melodrama, “Foiled by an Innocent Maid”. Enticing desserts served after the play.

Wednesday Dec. 11

Special Ludlow Holiday Event, 5–7 p.m., at the Wine and Cheese Depot, 46 Depot St. where our annual silent auction will be held this year. Enjoy wine and cheese while perusing the wonderful offerings from Ludlow’s inns, restaurants, ski shops, a safari to Africa and many other varied experiences. Fifty items for you to choose from; there is something to entice everyone. $25 per person. Additional Ludlow holiday information is available by telephone: 802-228-5050, e-mail: or visit online at Vol. 2 No. 4 | North Country Living Magazine | 83

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Story by Lou Varricchio Photographs by Tad Merrick

Christmastime in Brandon

BRANDON — When tourists think of Vermont as a holiday destination, they will think of snow covered pines, sitting by a fireplace in a comfy B&B or watching ski trails on a mountainside. The Town of Brandon, on the northern edge of Rutland County, is a perfect winter holiday destination if you like small town friendliness, things to do, and a place where peace and quiet reign supreme. According to early 20th century hometown legislator MacNabb Currier, “Brandon is a study in early American architecture and Vermont history.” Brandon bears the legacy of a rich past— waterpower, iron ore and marble were its chief products. “The coming of the railroad in 1849 enabled the manufacture and shipping of iron-based products such as the Howe scale, as well as Brandon paints, wood products and marble,” according to the town’s own official history. “During its century of rapid growth, Brandon Village evolved a unique village plan. The historic Crown Point Road came through Brandon to connect Lake Champlain to the New England coast. In the ensuing decades, government and individuals developed commercial streets at the core which radiated out from the greens lined with residences leading to farms, mines and quarries in the town. Pearl and Park streets were laid out to be suitable for militia training, resulting in broad, tree-shaded streets with deep front yards.” Statesman Stephen A. Douglas was born in Brandon, and his birthplace is now the Brandon Museum as well as the town’s Visitor Center. And don’t forget resident Thomas Davenport who invented 84 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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the electric motor and never got the credit he deserved. During the holidays, Brandon’s folk artists, fabric artists, computer artists, workers in traditional decorative arts, w a t e r c o l o r, jewelry, pottery, glass, sculpture, print makers, and photographers nearly always contribute something to mark the season. Special music events are held during the holidays at Brandon Music, and the Brandon Town Hall. See our inclusive calendar of events in this edition of North Country Living for dates and times of holiday-related happenings this year in Brandon. AT TOP: The quaint Brandon Green is decked out for the holiday season starting in November. ABOVE: The historic Brandon Town Hall is the centerpiece of Brandon’s festive Christmas to New Year holiday time.

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A86 Out and About | Lake Placid Olympic Museum

Museums North Country of the

New York LAKE PLACID — One of the most frequently asked questions by visitors of the Lake Placid Olympic Museum is ”How in the world did Lake Placid hold that many people?” Museum Manager Allison Haas can say the same thing about the small Lake Placid museum, but the place holds an impactful and vast collection of Olympic memorabilia. Pieces at the museum include the very first gold medal in winter Olympics history. The medal was awarded in the 1924 Winter Olympics to American Charles Jewtraw. Jewtraw was a speed skater who took the 500-meter event with a time of 44.0 seconds. The museum opened in 1994 and is the only Olympic Museum in the United States that concentrates on multiple Olympic games. “Our collection shows the breadth of many Olympics not just the ones held in Lake Placid,” Haas said. “There is another museum in Salt Lake City but their collection focuses mostly on the Olympic events held there.” Some of the highlights are an extensive clothing collection with uniforms from past athletes and some glamorous figure skating leotards. There are also collections of judges and volunteer uniforms. The museum has hundreds of medals awarded to athletes from both winter and summer games, identification badges for volunteers and athletes, ceremonial torches, bobsleds, and safety equipment used by the athletes throughout the history of the games. The museum’s premier exhibit focuses on the historic moment in sport’s history which is remembered as “The Miracle On Ice.” “The Miracle on Ice is said to be one of the most fantastic moments in sport’s history and it happened right here,” Haas said. “Most people who visit are hockey fans who want to see the Miracle on Ice exhibit.” During the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, The USA team, composed of collegiate and amateur athletes, was up against the legendary players of the Soviet Union who had won the gold in the past four Olympics. At the museum, the legendary game is broadcast on a big screen so visitors can sit in mock bleachers and witness the defining moments of the game built up from the first period until the two teams were knotted 2 to 2. As the game progresses, visitors bear witness to the Soviets scoring the only goal for the second period. Mark Johnson’s goal in the third brought the US back. With 10 minutes left in the game, Mike Eruzione scored the famous fourth and winning goal and with Jim Craig’s solid play in the net the US team defeated the Soviets 4-3. The museum houses the goal post which encapsulated the historic moment for the true American underdog story. 86 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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Story and Photographs by Katherine Clark

The exhibit features actual jerseys worn at the game and the actual back board and goal. To get to the Miracle on Ice exhibit, visitors must first travel through exhibits focusing on the beginning of the winter sporting competition. “When visitors come in, the museum is laid out almost in chronological order. Visitors will first read about the early years of the Olympics starting with the medal won by Jewtraw.” Following Jewtraw’s medal are memorabilia like the “Ripley’s Believe it or not poster” that shows not only Jewtraw but all the winning speed skaters from the Lake Placid region. If visitors follow along to the next exhibit they will see a spread dedicated to one of the most influential athletes in the sport of figure skating, Sonja Henie.

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“When she first competed at 11-years-old she came in last place but she came back to be a force to be reckoned with,” Haas said. “Sonja was a pioneer, she changed the world of figure skating.” The Norwegian athlete won her first gold medal at the 1928 Olympics and at the next three Olympics no female figure skater could take gold from her. Haas said her routine and style set the new standard for the sport. At age 15, Henie was the youngest woman ever to win a gold medal. She held that title for 70 years, until American figure skater Tara Lipinski, two months younger than Henie, won gold at the 1998 Nagano Games. After the 1928 Games Henie went on to successfully defend her gold medal at the 1932 and 1936 Winter Games. After her final Olympics in 1936, she went professional, setting her sights on making a name for herself in Hollywood. She skated in her first movie “One in a Million,” as the lead actress. She went on to skate her way through dozens of films. “She had an amazing passion for performance and a drive for success. She really was the first person to become an iconic ice princess and inspire future generations of figure skaters,” Haas said. A video biography of Henie’s life is on a constant stream at the exhibit. There are also photos, collectible Henie dolls, uniforms and more on display. Right now the museum is in the early stages of remodeling the figure skating exhibit to showcase more of the sport’s extensive and glamorous history. “This will be the first redesign of one of our permanent exhibits,” Haas said. “We’re going to use Sonja Henie as an anchor to bring everything together.” Throughout the museum is actual equipment used by

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ans, including safety equipment that would be considered inadequate by today’s standards. “To look at some of the safety equipment they used now is definitely eye opening for how far technology has come,” Haas said. The museum’s collection comes from a mix of places, some pieces are on loan from museums and private collections, while others are outright purchases. Every year the museum sees about 25,000 visitors of both locals and out-of-towners. During Olympic years, Haas said the turn out is even greater. “People from all over flock here for that winter wonderland experience,” Haas said. “The Lake Placid region is one of three places to hold the Olympic ceremonies twice and of those places it’s the smallest with every event hosted in a 15-mile radius.” Lake Placid remains a part of Olympic history. Haas said Lake Placid has sent at least one Olympian to every competition and at least a dozen in 2013. The museum was built inside the Olympic Ice Arena which is a historical site all its own. “It’s really hard to describe everything we have here it’s a lot of everything, best way to learn about everything we have is to come visit and take a look around,” Haas said. The museum is housed on the ground floor of the Olympic Center, 2634 Main Street. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of Ironman, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students, seniors and children age 6 and older. Admission is free for children younger than 6. For more information about the museum their phone number is (518) 302-5326 or you can visit their website at www.whiteface. com/facilities/olympic-center/olympic-museum. OPPOSITE PAGE: The entrance to the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum. ABOVE: Inside the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum visitors can view athletic uniforms worn in different games including the glamorous sequin figure skating leotard worn by Sonja Hennie BELOW: The museum has many medals won by athletes. Here is a collection of Olympic Prize Medals from various Olympic competitions.

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A88 Out and About | The Shelburne Museum

Museums North Country of the

Story and Photographs by Katherine Clark


SHELBURNE — The Shelburne Museum has been a Vermont treasure encompassing an abundance of period collections since 1947. The museum’s founder, Electra Havemeyer Webb, developed the museum with the goal of providing a unique destination for people to experience history. This year, the museum will be able to carry on that legacy through the winter thanks to the opening of the museum’s newest addition, the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education. The center, which features state-of-the-art galleries, a classroom and an auditorium, opened on Aug. 18. Guests are invited to view exhibits and kids will be able to join in the fun of learning at the education center. “It’s been 66 years in the making with three or four years marketing and one year construction but we finally have a building that embraces Electra’s dream to open the museum year-round,” said Leslie Wright, Shelburne Museum public relations and marketing manager. “Now we have a larger window for schools to come for field trips and for people to see what we have at the museum.” The center joins the over 39 buildings on the property. Each building is unique and a collection in and of itself. Twenty-five of the buildings are historic landmarks transported to the museum grounds. The center is a new construction that stands out from the flock, sitting on the hillside welcoming travelers passing by on Shelburne Road. “It’s contemporary, very modern architecture unlike any other structure at the museum. It’s fairly dramatic. We want people to take notice from the road,” said Wright. One of the most frequently asked questions the museum receives is why they built something modern instead of a replica of another historic structure. 88 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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“If we hired an architect to build a barn it would look like an architect was hired to build a barn. Our other buildings are actually barns and historic buildings,” said Wright. “We won’t compromise the integrity of the other buildings. This new building is a symbol of the future of Shelburne Farms.” The modern architecture serves to provide safety, temperature and humidity control and lighting specified for each exhibit. “If the building were cut in half the art galleries are in the front of the building on the first and second floor,” said Wright. “On the back of the building is the education wing, with the auditorium on the second floor and the learning center on the ground floor.” The structure has been erected using slate from Sheldon, NY, and beech wood milled in Bristol, Vt. The inaugural exhibit, “Color, Pattern, Whimsy, Scale: The Best of Shelburne Museum” consists of nearly 100 works from the museum’s permanent collection. The pieces were chosen from the 150,000 items the museum has from Webb’s collections. The show includes paintings, folk art, furniture, wallpapers, decorative arts, textiles, costumes, quilts, pottery, sculptures, and many other pieces Webb found interesting. “We have a unique opportunity to utilize the 5,000 square feet of gallery space to expand what we can do at the museum,” said Wright. “We wanted to pay homage to the museum’s founder. We decided to look into the past and embraced that as we opened the door to our future.” Wright said the collections were selected from some never-before-seen pieces the museum’s curators had picked for the show. “When she collected something, she was all in. If she collected quilts she didn’t have just one or two, but 500,” Wright said. “Electra was one of the first people to look at quilts as art. She would look at functional items and see them as art. Now those items are collectibles.”

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A89 facility,” said Wright. For every exhibit the walls will be repainted, the lighting adjusted and the temperature/humidity control system will ensure the preservation of every piece in the museum. “We didn’t have a place before that could host this. Now major art museums will more happily consider loaning pieces to us because we can take care of them,” said Wright. The center will also allow the museum to reach students while school is in session. “We’re a cultural center for Vermont. As any true Vermonter can tell you we’re here year round,” Wright said. “It’s the perfect cure for cabin fever.” During the winter months the Pizzagalli will be the only accessible building on the campus, visitors will have a chance to see the massive, grounded Ticonderoga boat sit atop snow covered ground and more. “Some people talk about our 37 buildings, the fabulous grounds and over 22 gardens, the art work, others think of the museum as a large New England village,” Wright said. “Our museum is a cultural hub for the region. The new building is a move into the future. Our next challenge is getting on people’s radar in the winter.” The main Museum campus closed Oct. 31. Winter hours and admission begin Nov. 1 and run through May 10. Adults are $10. Children ages 5 to 18 are $5. Vermont resident adults are $5 and Vermont resident children are $3. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays, except national holidays. The museum is closed Nov. 28, Dec. 24, 25, and Jan. 1. For more information visit the Shelburne Museum’s website at, or call (802) 985-3346. Webb’s collections contrasted the popular impressionist artwork of the time. “She definitely took a different path in her collections from what her parents collected,” Wright said. “Eventually her collections were filling up her house so they started the museum in 1947. She really wanted to create an educational environment and a place to share her collections with people.” The exhibit will be up until Dec. 31. The exhibit, “New Blooms,” featuring the work by Maine sculptor John Bisbee, will open on Jan. 18 and run through May 26. Bisbee’s works are created out of steel spikes, manipulating nails individually and then welding them together for the finished form. For New Blooms, Bisbee is making a series of floral-inspired pieces that will include, among other works, a field of steel flowers. Bisbee, a sculptor in residence at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, has had solo exhibitions at the Albright-Knox Museum, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Portland Museum of Art. New Blooms is the first time Bisbee’s work has been on view in a Vermont museum. Following Bisbee’s exhibit will be “Supercool Glass,” beginning Feb. 9 and running through June 8. Supercool Glass is a show highlighting the aesthetic and technological trends in American glassmaking over 200 years. The exhibit will encompass scientific, domestic and artistic functions. Including food vessels, witch balls and paintings. “We have the opportunity to bring in world class artists at this

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OPPOSITE PAGE: Visitors to the Shelburne Museum are greeted by the large, red round barn as they come from the museum’s parking lot. Once past the gate it becomes apparent from the buildings dotting the landscape that no two buildings are alike. ABOVE: Inside the Pizzagali Center for Arts and Education, the inaugural exhibit were pieces from museum founder Electra Havemeyer Webb’s personal collection are on display. BELOW: The exhibit “Color, Pattern, Whimsy, Scale: The Best of the Shelburne Museum” features everyday items Electra Havemeyer Webb found beautiful, including a collection of quilts.

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A92 First Night Saranac Lake

Stories by Keith Lobdell

New York SARANAC LAKE — An event that started 37 years ago in Boston has been a mainstay of the way people in Saranac Lake celebrate New Year’s for the past seven years. Again, the village will be busy as First Night 2014 will take place at multiple venues to help ring in the New Year. The tradition of the First Night festival began in Boston, where organizers were looking to create a family-oriented, alcohol-free celebration that included performing and visual arts. Admission to events at First Night comes in the form of a button. In Saranac Lake, the button can be purchased for $12 and can be found at several businesses in the village as well as Lake Placid. Children 12 and under are admitted for free. First Night Saranac Lake, one of five such events in New York State (Saratoga, Buffalo, Oneonta and Syracuse) began in 2006 and has steadily grown over the past seven years. “We try each year to broaden our circle of people who attend,” First Night board member Liz Bennett said. “We attempt to provide a variety of entertainment for all ages from puppetry and circus acts for children, teen dance for high school students and a variety of music and comedy for all ages.” Performers, entertainers, dancing and festivities can be found at several places throughout the village, including the Harrietstown Town Hall (where the opening ceremonies are held every year at 5:45 p.m.), the Adirondack Artists Guild, BluSeed Studios, the First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, Pendragon Theatre, Petrova Elementary School, Saranac

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Lake Library, St. Bernard’s Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and Will Rogers, among other locations. Previous performers have included a variety of acts and entertainers, including the Zucchini Brothers, storyteller Amber McKernan, poet Angel Nafis, rock group Invasive Species, Soma Beats African Drum and dance troop, LeGroove, Hair of the Dog, Crackin’ Foxy, comedian Johnny Lampert, children’s comedy and magic show Pipsqueak, the Saranac Lake High School vocal ensembles and more. For additional information including the performance schedule and the performers’ bios consult the website

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A93 First Night Burlington Vermont

BURLINGTON — Since 1983, Burlington has been at the center of the celebration of the New Year in Vermont. That is when the city held the inaugural First Night Burlington festival, building off the original First Night that was held annually in Boston since 1976. Now, Burlington is one of 130 cities worldwide that celebrates First Night as a, “substance-free New Year’s Eve festival of the arts.” According to organizers, Burlington was the fourth city in the world to embrace First Night. It is the city’s largest single-day arts festival, providing an accessible and affordable New Year’s Eve celebration to thousands of people in our community. In its first year, First Night offered 50 acts in 14 venues. “Our 2013 celebration will feature over 110 performances and activities at 20 venues,” organizers said. “We provide arts events for audiences of all ages - from children and families to teens and

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adults.” Displays and events include Living Masterpieces on Church Street from 1 to 7 p.m.; the Dancing Dragons Parade on Church Street at 5 p.m.; Flynn Art’s performing arts classes from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.; BCS Center clay and print studio along with make and take from 2 until 5 p.m.; a cartoon festival at Merrill’s Roxy Cinema from 1 p.m. until midnight; and fireworks on the Burlington waterfront at 6 p.m. and again to ring in the new year at midnight. From 1 p.m. until midnight, there will be a host of musicians, artists, comedy acts and shows throughout Burlington, with host sites including the College Street Congregational Church, Contois Auditorium, Edmunds School Cafeteria, the First Baptist Church, the First Congregational Church Sanctuary, theater and chapel; the First United Methodist Church, the Fletcher Free Library, the Flynn Center main stage, FlynnSpace, Memorial Auditorium Main Floor, Memorial Auditorium 242 Main; Phoenix Books, the Unitarian Universalist Church and the Burlington YMCA. As with all First Night events, admission is gain through special First Night buttons that can be purchased either before Dec. 31 or at the event. Tickets are required in addition to a First Night Button for certain performances at the Flynn, Memorial Auditorium, First Congregational Church Sanctuary, and FlynnSpace. Before Dec. 15, a family pack of two adult and two kid buttons can be purchased for $42. Before Dec. 31, adult buttons are $20 and children are $5, with children under three admitted for free. On New Year’s Day, adult prices rise to $30. Additional event tickets are $4 each. For more information, visit the website firstnightburlington. com, email or call (802) 863-6005.

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Sunday, Dec. 1 TICONDEROGA — The Ticonderoga Community Christmas Tree will be lit during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on the Community Building lawn. There will be live music and refreshments. The first 20 people to arrive will receive a free candy cane and a special gift. TICONDEROGA — Holiday hayrides will be available 6 to 8 p.m. beginning at the Heritage Museum, sponsored by the Ticonderoga Youth Commission with Lynne and Joe Sawyer. BRANDON — Memory Tree Lighting: In Brandon Central Park you can catch the magic of the season starting at 3:30 p.m. with singing from Otter Valley Union High School Chorale and the Brandon Festival Singers. At 4 p.m., the town’s big locally grown Memory Tree will be lit for the season. BOLTON LANDING — Christmas in Bolton, 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. in Rogers Park, 4928 Lake Shore Drive. Hometown celebration starts at 2 p.m. with hayrides — Santa rides along; deejay with holiday music; caroling at 3:45 p.m.; tree lighting ceremony at 4 p.m. Free. Details: 644-3831 or: BRANT LAKE — Annual Memory Tree ceremony, 4 p.m. at the Horicon Volunteer Fire Co. firehouse. Area residents purchase a bulb for $1 and hang it on the community tree to memorialize a

family member. A brief non-denominational service honors those departed, and the tree is ceremoniously lit up. The event is sponsored by the fire co. Auxiliary. To purchase a bulb in advance, call Barbara Blum at 494-3357, or Nida Califano at 494-2366.

Tuesday, Dec. 3 TICONDEROGA — “The Family Holiday Book Reading” will be 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Black Watch Memorial Library. Library staff and volunteers will read Christmas stories to children. ATHOL — Old Fashioned Christmas Party, 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. in Thurman Town Hall. Hosted by the John Thurman Historical Society. Public welcome - bring pot luck to share, gender-specific gift for exchange, and enjoy games. Free. Details: 623-2007. CHESTERTOWN — Taste of the Tri-Lakes and Tree Lighting Ceremony, 5:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. in front of Panther Mountain House, Main St. downtown. Local restaurants offer tasty samplings of appetizers, soups, stews and dessert for minimal charge. Treelighting ceremony conducted by Chestertown Rotary Club, 7 p.m. Caroling, choral group, s’mores for kids Free. Taste of Tri-Lakes details: 494-5762 or:

Wednesday, Dec. 4 TICONDEROGA — “Letters to Santa and Wish List Night” will be held at Sugar & Spice Country Shoppe 5 to 7 p.m. Children can write letters to Santa, which will be mailed to the North Pole and answered. Refreshments will be provided. While children write letters, parents can shop, receiving a 25 percent discount on one item. BRANDON — Moonlight Madness I and II: A time for shopping local, downtown sales, discounts, and Vermont specials. Visitors may stroll through downtown and drive to the outskirts for holiday shopping. Specials begin at 4 p.m. and shops stay open until 9 p.m. with some exceptions. For details, call 802-247-6401.

Thursday, Dec. 5 TICONDEROGA — “Learn to Create Your Own Holiday Arrangement” will be held at 4 p.m. at the Country Florist. Francine Burke will teach participants to make holiday flower arrangements. TICONDEROGA — “Fourth of July in December Barbecue” will be at 5 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus in Ticonderoga. Tickets will be $12 a person. Take-out meals will be available. The dinner will benefit Ticonderoga’s annual “Best Fourth in the North” celebration. 94 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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A95 WARRENSBURG — Adirondack Cooperative Economy Christmas Market & Pot Luck, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. at the Free Methodist Church. Local folks involved in sustainable living gather to display and sell home-crafted and locally produced goods. Crafters may accept “Adirondack Bucks,” a regional alternative currency. WARRENSBURG — Warrensburg Historical Society’s holiday dinner, 5:30 p.m. at Lizzie Keays Restaurant, River St. Savory food while enjoying the company of local history enthusiasts. Full dinner, set price. Call 504-4043 for entree selection and reservations. NORTH CREEK — Christmas Tea & Bazaar, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. at North Creek United Methodist Church 247 Main St. Silver tea and craft sale. $. Details: 251-3427.

Friday Dec. 6 PLATTSBURGH — 1st Weekends: The first Friday 5-8 p.m., and Saturday 1-5 p.m., local museums and businesses are open late, performers fill the streets of Plattsburgh with music, local artists display their work in front of businesses, special discounts at participating businesses and more. This weekend enjoy a Ron Nolland opening reception and special 9 x 9 fundraiser Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts, and a performance by Lucid Saturday, noon - 5 p.m. For more information, go to SCHROON LAKE — The Champlain Valley Chorale will present its annual Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Schroon Lake. Theme: “The Very Best Time of Year.”

Saturday, Dec. 7 MINEVILLE — Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit the MinevilleWitherbee fire house noon to 4 p.m. Santa will give away candy and stuff animals. He will also pose for photos with children. Hot cocoa. TICONDEROGA — “Holiday Movie Night” will be held at 5 p.m. at the Ticonderoga Best Western Inn Plus in coordination with the Ticonderoga Festival Guild. A free holiday children’s movie will be screened. There will be free popcorn. Other refreshments will be for sale. Children encouraged to come in pajamas and bring a blanket. TICONDEROGA — The Ticonderoga Holiday Stuff-A-Bus event will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ticonderoga Walmart store. Ticonderoga High School students, along with the Ticonderoga Kiwanis, will collect food and donations to benefit the Ticonderoga Food Pantry. MIDDLEBURY — Line the streets to watch the Christmas season’s favorite elf, Santa Claus, arrive by fire truck via the Cross Street Bridge and up Main Street (Santa will make two laps of the downtown area) starting at 9:45 a.m. Old-fashioned visits with Santa take place at the Middlebury Community House, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free. Juggler and Horse and Wagon rides in front of the Middlebury Community House- 10 a.m.-noon. Hot Chocolate Hut in downtown Cannon Park across from the Isley Public Library. BOLTON LANDING — Christmas Cantata, 7 p.m. at St. Sacrement Episcopal Church, Lake Shore Dr. This year’s cantata is entitled “What Sweeter Music — a Festival of Carols.”Celebrate the season with lovely inspirational music. All invited. Free/donation. Details: 494-3374. CHESTERTOWN — Annual visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, 10

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a.m. at the Chester Municipal Center, Main St. Gifts, refreshments. Rotarians take free photographs of the children with Santa. Live holiday music. Horse-drawn wagon rides from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. CHESTERTOWN — Gingerbread Workshop, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. at Town of Chester Library, Chester Municipal Center, Main St. One house per family, fee: $10. Sign up in advance at the library or call 494-5384. Free cookie-decorating workshop at the library starting at 9:30 a.m. PLATTSBURGH — Annual Yuletide Open House at the KentDelord House Museum, 17 Cumberland Ave. The best way to start your holiday is to visit Kent-Delord House Museum. Visit the house when it’s adorned with decorations making it a historic holiday treat. Noon - 4 p.m. For more information visit

Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 7-8 MIDDLEBURY — Dec. 7, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Dec. 8, Noon 4 p.m., join the Sheldon Museum’s annual Holiday Open House. The elaborate electric train layout will entertain all ages. A craft activity, Christmas cookies, holiday raffle and carols played on the Sheldon’s 1831 piano. Henry Sheldon Museum, 1 Park St. Call 802388-2117 or visit WARRENSBURG — 25th annual Christmas in Warrensburgh festival, daily downtown. Old fashioned holiday celebration. Church bazaars, luncheons, musical performances, live reindeer, photos with Santa, children’s activities, craft demonstrations & workshops by Adirondack artisans, tree lighting ceremony. This year’s edition also celebrates both the town’s and Warren County’s 2013 bicentennial. Free. Details: 466-5497. WARRENSBURG — Reception for holiday exhibit: “Doll Houses and Room Boxes,” 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Warrensburgh Museum of Local History, 3754 Main St. Vintage items on loan from local residents. Refreshments. Free. Details: 623-2928. WARRENSBURG — Craft bazaar, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, upper Main St. The event features a pancake breakfast, a cookie walk and a silent auction. Call Ross at 6232899 or leave a message at the church: 623-9334. NORTH CREEK — Holiday concert & celebration at Tannery Pond Community Center, 228 Main St. Sat., 7 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. Community concert features North Country Singers, Holiday Children’s Choir, Johnsburg Central Jazz Band, dancers, and visit from Santa. Free. Details: 251-3911. Vol. 2 No. 4 | North Country Living Magazine | 95

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Sunday, Dec. 8 WILMINGTON — Village of Lights at Santa’s Workshop, 324 Whiteface Memorial Highway, Wilmington. Enjoy a Sunday evening stroll and admire the park’s majestic Christmas lighting. Enjoy a ride on the Carousel and observe the Nativity Pageant under the stars. 4:30-7:30 p.m. For more information go to www.northpoleny. com. TICONDEROGA — SantaFest, a highlight of the Ticonderoga Area North Country Christmas, will take place 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Community Building. It will feature visits with Santa, photos with the jolly elf, games, crafts, face painting, refreshments and more. It typically attracts hundreds of children and their families. TICONDEROGA — The annual Festival of Trees open house will be held at the Hancock House 1 to 3 p.m. This will mark the 23rd year for the holiday tradition, which features a festive display of trees decorated by local businesses, organizations, families and individuals. TICONDEROGA — The Champlain Valley Chorale will present its annual Christmas concert at 3 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church on Wicker Street in Ticonderoga. The concert theme this year is “The Very Best Time of Year.” BRANDON — Brandon Library Holiday Auction: Join the Friends of the Brandon Free Public Library for their annual holiday 96 | North Country Living Magazine | Vol. 2 No. 4

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auction. Over 50 local patrons and artists donate holiday wreaths, decor, artwork and treasures for the event. Live music, seasonal refreshments, and door prizes will be included. A special preview starts at 2 p.m. The auction starts at 2:30 p.m. Fore more details, call 802-247-8230. MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE — Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., Mead Memorial Chapel. Modeled after the long-standing European tradition, this annual program includes Bible readings of Advent and Christmas and carols for choir, organ, and congregation. Each service is preceded by performances on the chapel carillon. Laurel Jordan, chaplain; Middlebury College Chapel Choir, Jeffrey Buettner, director; Emory Fanning, organ. Free. BRANT LAKE — Christmas in Brant Lake fest, 1 p.m. in Horicon Community Center, Rte. 8. Children create various holiday crafts that make great gifts for family members and decorations for their homes. Members of various local groups instruct children on specific craft projects. Plenty of refreshments for all. Horse-drawn wagon rides provided by Circle B Ranch. Santa Claus makes an appearance. Annually 100 or more families participate. A hometown tradition. Details: Call Barbara Blum at 494-3357. CHESTER — Christmas Decorating & Celebration, 2 p.m. at The Priory Retreat House, 135 Priory Rd. Help create the magical spirit of Christmas at The Priory. Help trim the trees & deck the halls. Share a potluck supper. Family fun. Free/donations. Call by Dec. 2 for reservations. Details: 494-3733 or: CHESTERTOWN — Annual Christmas Cantata, 3 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church, Church St. This year’s cantata is entitled “What Sweeter Music — a Festival of Carols.” Celebrate the season with lovely inspirational music. All invited. Free/donation. Details: 494-3374. WARRENSBURG — Annual Holiday Craft Fair, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. at The Lodge at Echo Lake, 175 Hudson St. Handcrafted gifts, jewelry, artwork, woodcrafts. Free. Details: 623-2161 or:

Saturday, Dec. 14 PLATTSBURGH — Adirondack Coast Holiday Wine Tour, at wineries all along the Adirondack Coast. Enjoy the holiday while sampling wines and cider and discovering the local flavor of the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail. Each vineyard and cidery will be offering unique tastings and experiences all included in a one passport ticket. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit SCHROON LAKE — Schroon Lake will host its 27th annual community holiday celebration this winter beginning at 5:30 p.m. The town Christmas tree will be lit at 5:30 p.m., kicking off the celebration, in the town park. A living nativity scene will march from the park to Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Main Street, followed by holiday carolers. The Schroon Senior Citizens Club will light its memory tree following the caroling. Santa will arrive at the Strand Theater to greet children at 6 p.m. Schroon Lake Central School music students will perform throughout the hamlet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Performances will be held at the Community Church, Joannies Goodies and The Towne Store. There will be horse and carriage rides along with a petting zoo from 6 to 8 p.m.

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A97 BRANDON — Brandon Farmers Market Annual Holiday Fair: The annual Farmers Market Holiday Fair at Neshobe School will have something for everyone. The fair runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Neshobe Elementary School. For details, call 802-273-2655. MIDDLEBURY — Old Fashioned Visits with Santa take place at Maple Landmark Woodcraft, 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Hot Chocolate Hut in downtown Cannon Park across from the Isley Public Library. Get a cup of hot cocoa with all the fixings for 25 cents, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. ORWELL — Make and Take Holiday Cards, Bags and Tags at the Orwell Free Library. Spruce up your gifts this holiday season with handmade cards, bags, and tags. The library will provide inspiring supplies and creative examples to get you started. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ATHOL — Annual Thurman Christmas Party, 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. at the Thurman Town Hall. Santa arrives by fire truck, bearing gifts for children, infants through 12 years. Games, prizes, food, perhaps craft activities. All invited.

Sunday, Dec. 15 WILMINGTON — Village of Lights at Santa’s Workshop, 324 Whiteface Memorial Highway, Wilmington. Enjoy a Sunday evening stroll and admire the park’s majestic Christmas lighting. Enjoy a ride on the Carousel and observe the Nativity Pageant under the stars. 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. Visit BRANDON — Brandon Festival Singers: An annual tradition features the music of Gene Childers. Brandon Congregational Church at 3 p.m. The season would not feel the same without this performance. A free will offering will be asked. CHESTER — Open House and Caroling, 3 p.m. at The Priory Retreat House, 135 Priory Rd. Celebrate a wondrous time of year with The Priory. Candlelit caroling, storytelling and a reading of the Christmas story. Enjoy treats by the woodstove. Free/donation. Details: 494-3733 or:

Saturday, Dec. 21 MIDDLEBURY — Old Fashioned Visits with Santa at Danforth Pewter, 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Hot Chocolate Hut in downtown Cannon Park across from the Isley Public Library. Get a cup of hot cocoa with all the fixings for 25 cents, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more details, contact the BMP office in downtown Middlebury at 802-388-4126. ORWELL — Santa Story Time at the Orwell Free Library. Celebrate Santa during his busiest time of year. Listen to Santa stories, do a Santa craft, and eat a holiday snack. Santa may even drop by to say hello. 10 a.m.

Sunday, Dec. 22 WILMINGTON — Village of Lights at Santa’s Workshop, 324 Whiteface Memorial Highway, Wilmington, NY. Enjoy a Sunday evening stroll and admire the park’s majestic Christmas lighting. Enjoy a ride on the Carousel and observe the Nativity Pageant under the stars. 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. For more information go to www.

Thursday, Dec. 26 WILMINGTON — Village of Lights at Santa’s Workshop, 324 Whiteface Memorial Highway, Wilmington. Enjoy a Sunday

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ning stroll and admire the park’s majestic Christmas lighting. Enjoy a ride on the Carousel and observe the Nativity Pageant under the stars. 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. Visit

Saturday, Dec. 28 NORTH CREEK — Concert: Joycelyn Pettit, 7:30 p.m. at Tannery Pond Community Center, 228 Main St. International singer, composer, fiddler & step dancer. $. Details: 251-3911 or:

Tuesday, Dec. 31 LAKE GEORGE — New Year’s Eve cruises aboard Lac du St. Sacrement — Dinner Cruise boards at 5 p.m. & departs at 6 p.m.; Party Cruise & midnight fireworks, boards at 9:15 p.m. & departs at 10 p.m. departs dock at 10 p.m., Lake George Steamboat Co., 57 Beach Rd. Ring in the New Year on Lake George. If lake is frozen, party is held dockside. $. Details: (800) 553-2628, 518-668-5777 ext. 4 or:

Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 31-Jan. 2 BURLINGTON — Various First Night events around the downtown area. Check the weekly Vermont Eagle Dec. 28 issue for details. SARANAC LAKE — First Night Saranac Lake. A variety of artists perform in different venues around the village. Learn more at

Wednesday, Jan. 1 LAKE GEORGE — New Year’s Day Polar Plunge swim,1 p.m. at Shepard Park Beach. Celebrate New Year with a frigid swim. Annually attracts 1,500 or so plungers and thousands more spectators. Pre-registration at Duffy’s Tavern beginning at 10:30 a.m. $10 registration includes Plunge T-shirt. Fundraiser for L.G. Winter Carnival. $, but free to watch. Details: 668-5323. NORTH CREEK — New Year’s Day Ski Bowl Party, 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. at North Creek Ski Bowl, Ski Bowl Rd. off Rte. 28. Skiing, boarding, tubing. Family fun with live entertainment. $. Details: 251-2411 or: Vol. 2 No. 4 | North Country Living Magazine | 97

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2013 ncl holiday  
2013 ncl holiday