2015 in Lake George saw the return and expansion of favorite events and new festivals that kept the Village humming May through October. Over 64 events were held in Shepard Park, which hosted live entertainment nearly every night during July and August.
2015 was the first full year for the area’s newest venue, the Charles R. Wood Festival Commons with festivals and shows booked for nearly every weekend. There were so many festivals during the year, it was often difficult to keep them all straight. Major changes to the streetscape and completion of years-in-the-works projects ushered in a renaissance of sorts for the lakeside community.
Mother Nature was most kind in 2015, providing the cold and snow for a vibrant winter season and a warm, nearly rain-free summer that packed the beaches. A mild autumn brought a spectacular and extended fall foliage season and the Village lit up for the holidays with a record-breaking crowd caroling in the park.
Following are some highlights of the past year.
New Year’s Day Polar Plunge
2015 started as it has since 1973 with the New Year’s Day Polar Plunge. The 2015 plunge saw 1,182 defy the cold with a dip in the icy lake at Shepard Park Beach.
The 54th Annual Lake George Winter Carnival
A cold, cold winter brought a thick layer of ice over the lake, enough to support Winter Carnival attendees, ice fishing shanties, outhouse races, trucks, snowmobiles and a helicopter.
First Annual Snow Sculpture contest
The King of Winter, created by Glen Dulacher of Glen Tree Art and Peter Vogelaar, takes the prize at the First Annual Snow Sculpture contest held in February.
Marriot Hotel rises
Construction began on the six-story Marriot Hotel on Canada Street, significantly changing the streetscape. The hotel construction is scheduled to be completed spring 2016.
Shake the Lake music festival
One of many new festivals in town, The Shake the Lake for Vet’s Sake festival was held June 12-14 and featured a Battle of the Bands. Pictured here is the winning band Blue Streak Blvd. The event was hosted by King Neptune’s Pub and was a fundraiser for Adirondack Vets House.
Adirondack Wine and Food Fest
More than 2,000 attended the Adirondack Wine and Food Festival hosted by the Adirondack Winery June 27 and 28. The event included more than 40 vendors offering samples of gourmet food, wine, craft beers, ciders and spirits. Adirondack Winery is bringing the event back for 2016.
King George Fishing Derby
The first annual King George Fishing Derby was held July 10-12. It featured live music, a barbecue Chinese auction and $15,000 in prize money. More than 100 anglers participated in the inaugural event.
Lake George Arts Project Summer Concert Series
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys from Mamou, Louisiana, “The Cajun Music Capital of the World,” perform in Lake George, N.Y. August 5, 2015. The concert was part of the Lake George Arts Project’s Free Summer Concert Series.
Fridays at the Lake Brews and Bands
The Fridays at the Lake free concert series expanded in 2015 to become Brews and Bands. Live music began at 4 p.m. each Friday, July 10 through Sept. 4. Local restaurants sold food, beer and wine during the shows. The concerts are brought to Shepard Park by Improv Records.
Lake George Music Festival
2015 was the 5th anniversary of the Lake George Music Festival and the first year the festival of classical music held a winter concert series. Pictured here, dancers with the Glens Falls Ballet and Dance Center perform to Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo,” played by musicians of the Lake George Music Festival. The performance was part of the Music Festival’s Children’s Concert held in Shepard Park, Aug. 22, 2015.
Adirondack Nationals returns
The 27th Adirondack Nationals Car Show was held in Lake George Sept. 11-13, 2015. More than 2,000 pre-1980 vehicles paraded up and down Canada Street for the night cruise, an event that draws thousands to the Village every year.
American Music Festival headlines Sawyer Fredericks
The 2nd American Music Festival drew a crowd of 2,200 to Wood Festival Commons to see Sawyer Fredericks, Austin Webb, Blotto and several other local and national acts.
Oktoberfest breaks attendance records
Beautiful weather, stunning foliage, live music, German cuisine and beer brought people out for the 5th Annual Lake George Oktoberfest. The 2015 event saw the addition of carnival rides to the festival, which was held Columbus Day weekend.
Children’s Adventure Playground and Skateboard Park open
A Children’s Adventure Playground and the Skateboard Park were completed in the fall of 2015. Both are located next to the Festival Commons in Charles R. Wood Park.
Freezin’ for a Reason
On Nov. 14, several hundred participated in the 9th Annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. The event raised more than $73,000 to fund Special Olympic athletes.
Biggest “Lite Up the Village” ever
The annual Lite up the Village celebration saw its largest crowd ever. The Nov. 28 event included a sing-along of holiday favorites followed by the lighting of more than 4,500 lights. A fireworks display, visit from Santa and Lake George Community Band holiday concert filled out the evening.