No Reason to Hibernate with New York State Winter Carnivals

With so much to do outdoors across New York State in the winter, it’s hardly a season for hibernation.  Every weekend between now and mid-March has some sort of celebration, festival, or carnival – with one of the oldest and largest being the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival.  So don’t worry what the Groundhog has to say, get out there and embrace the season.  Continue reading for more New York State Winter Carnivals.

2013 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival ice palace building

2013 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival ice palace building. Photo by Mark Kurtz ©Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

From New York State Tourism’s Press Release

Highlighted below are some of the top New York State Winter Carnivals taking place throughout the vacation regions this winter.

Lake George Winter Carnival, Lake George – Every Weekend in February 2013

Lake George Village offers a month long celebration of winter during this annual family-friendly event at Shepard Park. Attendees can relish the warmth of tasty samples during the chowder, chili, BBQ and chicken wing cook-offs, be entertained by the always hilarious and fun outhouse races, slip down the giant ice slide, enjoy a tethered hot air balloon ride or snowmobile sleigh ride and visit a historical reenactors’ encampment of the 1700s.

Lake George Winter Carnival

©Lake George Winter Carnival


President’s Day Weekend Winter Festival, Mayville February 15-17, 2013

Lakeside Park comes alive with fun events for all ages including horse-drawn wagon rides, prizes and fireworks, a flare parade and bonfire.  Shop at many vendors and enjoy the weekend’s winter landscape.  Friday, February 15, 6:00pm Opening ceremonies; Saturday, February 16, activities begin at 10:00am; Sunday, February 17, activities begin at 11:00am.  Lakeside Park, Route 394, Mayville, NY 14757

NY Ice Wine Festival

NY Ice Wine Festival, Fairport – February 16, 2013

Come celebrate and experience New York State’s award-winning Ice Wines in the season that makes them possible – winter.  Ice Wines produced in NY State with NY State grown grapes, in the traditional method will be at the festival.  You’ll have the rare opportunity to sample and purchase these exquisite wines from all of New York’s wine regions in one location.  There will also be local food and wine tastings, demonstrations and wine seminars throughout the day.  Casa Larga Vineyards, 2287 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, NY 14450, 11:00am – 6:00pm.

Inlet’s Frozen Fire & Lights, Inlet – February 23, 2013

Bring the family for a full day of fun.  Bonfire & treats at Fern Park beginning at 10:00am.  As always, there is free sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.  Other event highlights include a Book Sale at the Inlet Public Library , a Cardboard Sled Race and the Inlet Youth Commission’s Noah’s Ark Animal Workshop at the Town Hall.  At night, event goers can go to Arrowhead Park after 5:00 pm for a much larger bonfire, free hot dogs, donuts & cocoa and a spectacular display of fireworks at 7:00 pm.  After the fireworks wander over to Matt’s Draft House for Wine & Chocolate.  Fern Park & Arrowhead Park, Inlet, NY, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm.

nICE Festival

nICE Festival, Canandaigua – February 25, 2013

The nICE Festival at the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua, NY is a celebration of ice and dessert wines and food.  The festival features dessert and ice wine tastings accompanied by regional Finger Lakes food favorites.  Throughout the day there are ice sculpture demonstrations, live music, winter wine and food pairing classes, a chili contest and hot chocolate for kids.  New York Wine and Culinary Center, 800 South Main St., Canandaigua, NY 14424, noon – 5:00 pm.

Long Island Winterfest, Various venues – February 9 – March 17, 2013

JAZZ on the Vine returns as the theme for the 2013 Long Island Winterfest for the sixth consecutive year.  Admission includes a glass of wine and a chance to win a FREE hotel night on the East End with a gift basket of Long Island wines.  Make plans to come to Long Island Wine Country this winter, where outstanding jazz musicians join with local vineyards, hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, cultural venues and attractions to create an array of special events and offers designed to lift the mid-winter doldrums.

Holiday Valley Mountain Coaster

Holiday Valley Mountain Coaster. Photo courtesy Holiday Valley Resort, Ellicottville, NY


Holiday Valley’s Winter Carnival, Ellicottville – March 9-10, 2013

Winter Carnival just keeps growing.  There’s so much to do all through the resort and village, March 9-10, including cookouts, pony races, skijoring and scavenger hunts, plus a Mardi Gras Parade, beauty pageant, and live music everywhere.  557 Holiday Valley Road, Ellicottville, NY 14731 at the intersection of NY Rt. 219 and Holiday Valley Road; 10:00am to 5:00pm; Village parade on Saturday, March 9 at 6:30pm.

With so many New York State Winter Carnivals, seasonal festivities, bountiful snowfall, cities aglow with entertainment, skiers and snowboarders hitting the slopes, and friends and families gathered for fun – visitors can celebrate the spirit of the season at many events across the state, which range from family-friendly carnivals to wine tastings and jazz festivals.

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.