The coolest carnival in Saranac Lake may be scaled back this year due to the coronavirus but it won't stop the famous Ice Palace from coming to life.

The 2021 Winter Carnival is all about wearing your 'Mask-erade' and runs February 6th through February 13th with only opening and closing fireworks and the ice palace. The annual Carnival usually includes sports, performances, parades, a fun run, a chocolate festival, and a fry pan toss, a Winter Carnival highlight.  All other activities have been cancelled this year due to COVID.

The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is the longest-running event of its kind in the eastern U.S., dating back to 1897. It takes a lot volunteers working several hours a day to prepare each year, which is no different this year. They braved the sub zero temperatures on Flower Lake to cut, carve and shape the Ice Palace that will have no entry points or maze, to allow for social distancing.

Everyone is being asked to enjoy the 2021 Ice Palace and closing fireworks from the comfort of their car. "We shall as spectators remain in our vehicles and celebrate the conclusion of the 2021 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival with a special salute by the blowing of our horns for a few moments," the winter carnival committee announced. "This will be our way in this very special year of honoring all of those whom have participated in “The Storming of the Palace” in years past."

Take a peek at the hard work being done as the Ice Palace takes shape in below zero temperatures this year.

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