It's beginning to look a lot like Ice Palace time in Upstate New York.

Volunteers get together every January to create the centerpiece of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. Business owners, teachers, construction workers, elected officials, parents, and friends, known as the International Palace Workers (IPW 1010), work in frigid temperatures every year to create the annual castle.

Beginning the Build

Dedicated volunteers start by cutting blocks, carrying buckets of icy cold water and snow to pack between them. And all during the bitter January cold. But the volunteers don't seem to mind.

Saranac Lake is one of those places where we embrace the cold. But you’ve never met a warmer community.

Winter Carnival History

The Winter Carnival has taken place in Saranac Lake since 1897, making it one of the oldest in the country. It wasn't always an annual event though. There were years in the 20s, 30s, and early 40s when it wasn't held.

The carnival was resurrected in the winter of 1947-48 and has been held every year since.

The Ice Palace disappeared for 35 years before making a comeback too. It stopped being built in 1920 but returned by 1955.

Photo Credit - Mark Kurtz/Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
Photo Credit - Mark Kurtz/Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

2024 Winter Carnival

The 2024 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival will be held February 2 -11.

There are several events planned during the carnival including artic golf, a fun run, a cornhole tournament, an icicle contest, curling, and the famous frying pan toss. Live music and fireworks will also be held.

The carnival has a new theme every year. This year it's Creepy!

Credit - Saranac Lake Winter Carnival/Facebook
Credit - Saranac Lake Winter Carnival/Facebook

2024 Ice Palace Progress

Get all the details including daily schedules, parking information, and everything else you need to know about the 2024 Winter Carnival at or on Facebook.

Take a look at the progress so far thanks to Meachele Burgoyne Manchester who is on site taking pictures every day.

Volunteers Brave the Chill to Carve Magical Ice Castle in Upstate New York

Mother Nature isn't stopping volunteers from braving the cold to build this year's Ice Palace in Saranac Lake, the centerpiece of the annual Winter Carnival.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace Over the Years

Take a look back at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace over the last few years.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

Magical LED-Lit Ice Castles Returns to Lake George For Cool Winter Walk Through

Take a virtual walk-thru of the Ice Castles and make plans to enjoy the magical experience when it opens in Lake George again this winter. 

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams