Lake Placid's Skate into New Year 2014

(as seen in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise) By Diane Chase

We seem to be the family that tries to do it all, a little bit of First Night Saranac Lake ($12 for buttons purchased in advance, free for children under 13 years of age) and a tad bit of potluck with friends. The one thing we did last year that will be added to our New Year’s Eve tradition is “Skate into the New Year” at the Lake Placid Olympic Speed Skating Oval.

The eighth annual Skating into New Year will take place on Thursday, December 31 at the Lake Placid Olympic Oval from 10:30 pm – 12:30 am for those searching for a healthy non-alcoholic event. Admission is a modest $5 fee for adults (children and any student with a valid ID are free) and request of a nonperishable good all benefits the local food pantry. There is music, a bonfire, hot drinks and sweet treats all in a substance-free setting.

Over 33 easy hikes, snowshoe and XC ski trails
as well as 300 other activities
for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Wilmington
Keene Valley, Keene, Tupper Lake
Jay and Upper Jay
Christie Sausa of Lake Placid Skate Shop conceived the idea in 2007 after she kept hearing from families that there just weren’t a lot of New Year’s Eve options for people that didn’t want to go out to a bar. The first event took place in 2008 and has continued strong ever since. The event is organized by Christie and assisted by her mother, friends and other volunteers. The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) donates ice time and local companies usually sponsor hot drinks and snacks. The event sponsors may vary slightly from year to year, but the format is always the same. Christie manages to get people to volunteer and donate to provide a safe, fun, family-friendly event at an iconic Lake Placid venue.

For my family it was a special night. It was quite snowy so some of Christie’s volunteers were out in force keeping the track clear while others policed the area for safety. When we got chilled we could warm up inside with a cup of hot chocolate or go outside around the fire pit.

We didn’t stay until midnight because we wanted to see the snowflake drop and fireworks go off over Saranac Lake’s Lake Flower. We were able to spend a few memorable hours outside enjoying the ice track at the Olympic Oval. This year we will probably do the same. That is the wonderful part about these events, we can pick and choose what we want to see or do. The costs are so minimal that I feel we can do it all. Be safe and enjoy the holidays! 

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy Adirondack family hikes, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebook online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.


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