SARANAC LAKE — Community festivals in Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake this week mean music, food, games and a new adventure race with obstacles galore.
Today, Saranac Lake hosts its 10th-annual Block Party, which organizer Sandra Bandru said this year is focused on “Community Spirit.”
“The Block Party is one of Saranac Lake’s largest festivals,” she said. “Hundreds of people joined in last year. It has been dubbed the summer ‘Winter Carnival.’”
The free festival starts at 1 p.m., rain or shine, at Berkeley Square, where Main Street meets Broadway. The streets are closed off for foot traffic, vendors, children’s games and dancing. Parking is available in municipal lots and on side
Bandru said Saranac Lake merchants have special sales in store, and music will be performed in the park from the Barn Cats and Vinyl Arcade.
At 6:30 p.m., the Lake Placid Sinfonietta will perform at St. Bernard’s Church.
“There will be delicious food, bistro-style cafes, chair massages, lots and lots of live entertainment, raffles, games, contests, an obstacle course, bounce house and more,” a press release said.
Events in Tupper Lake begin at 7 p.m. Friday with a unique version of Shakespeare-in-the-Park at Flanders Park with the Adirondack Lakes Summer Theatre Festival production of “The Tempest” with a twist.
“A Native American drum circle, complete with headdresses, drumming and dance brings to life one of Shakespeare’s most fantastical plays, featuring comedic sailors, young lovers and a magical battle for the character’s very souls!” organizers hinted in a press release.
On Saturday, community from near and far will celebrate a new event at the water’s edge of Raquette Pond in Tupper Lake. Tupperpalooza combines several events and is organized and produced by the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce.
Slated are some two dozen old-fashioned games in store for kids and adults alike, including three-legged races under the direction of Family Champions volunteers.
Tom Helms of Long Lake will give sea-plane rides. Among the food vendors will be the Lions Club cook shack with Ed and Jane Whitman’s home-made Mexican food.
A corn-bag tournament will take place near that food booth.
Mainstay attractions in Tupper Lake — the Wild Center and the Adirondack Public Observatory — will offer interactive booths, along with a history table, lumberjack photos and what chamber officials suggest are “amazing things to try: sumo wrestling, a climbing wall, a bungee run and an inflatable obstacle course.”
In addition, the third-annual Lions Club pie-eating contest has been built into Tupperpalooza, set for 2 p.m. Saturday.
“Last year’s event at the pavilion drew nearly 40 pie-eaters of various ages,” the release said.
Also, at 2 p.m., registration gets under way for the great Cardboard Boat Regatta.
“Children and families or groups can either enter a pre-made boat built of cardboard or build one right on site with limited supplies,” chamber officials said.
Boats need to be able to carry people, with $100 prizes for the fastest team, the one with the most team spirit and for the most creative boat.
Registration is $25. Pick up applications at Wawbeek Quick Stop or online at the chamber website.
Tupperpalooza also has several local personalities lined up to sit perilously in a dunking booth — two of them will be crowned Tupperpalooza king and queen.
In ceremony and style — from 3 until 4:15 p.m. — the 25-piece 10th Mountain Division Army Band will perform in the park; the group recently returned from Afghanistan, where it entertained coalition forces.
Local rock band Bittersweet performs next, until the fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.
Admission to the Tupperpalooza is free, but there will be charges for some rides.
Tupperpalooza races into Sunday with the Tupperpalooza Warrior Run at Big Tupper Ski Area. The 3.5-mile obstacle course includes a mud crawl, log jump, balance beam, wrecking balls with tires, spider web and a slip-and-slide to finish.
Free chairlift rides will run spectators up Big Tupper from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Warrior Run entry fee is $50; signup is 9:30 a.m. at Big Tupper Ski Center.
More information about Tupperpalooza events and registrations are available by calling 359-3328 or visiting www.tupper-lake.com.
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