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Nordic Fest this weekend

New Nordic Fest built around the Lake Placid Loppet

February 26, 2015
By MATTHEW TURNER ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - A new three-day festival at Mount Van Hoevenberg Cross-Country Ski Center is set to begin Friday, Feb. 27.

The Lake Placid Nordic Festival is an event planned to honor the nordic ski tradition in the Adirondacks. It's a mix of annual events and several new ones scheduled for this Friday to Sunday.

"Our plan and hope is that the Nordic Festival is able to showcase and celebrate Lake Placid and the region, which has a very strong heritage in nordic sports," said the state Olympic Regional Development Authority's Kris Seymour, who grew up in Saranac Lake and is in his first winter as nordic manager at Mount Van Hoevenberg.

Article Photos

Skiers begin their Lake Placid Loppet race in March 2014 at the Mount Van Hoevenberg Cross-Country Ski Center. The Loppet is scheduled for Sunday, March 1 as part of the first-ever Lake Placid Nordic Festival, Feb. 27 - March 1.
(File photo — Lou Reuter)

On Friday, the festival will start with the annual St. Lawrence University Winter Carnival races. The festival will have new events like ski waxing and orienteering clinics, demonstrations and dinner parties.

Free beginner clinics will be held on Friday and Saturday. There will also be discounts on rentals and merchandise during the weekend. The goal is to bring in skiers of all experience levels to enjoy the sport for the weekend, Seymour said.

Another new event is a nighttime headlamp tour Friday night on Mirror Lake and the Cascade Cross Country Ski Center, led by the High Peaks Cyclery.

"Friday, people can come out in the morning and watch top-level racers from all over the Northeast, and then they can have a beginner clinic basically free," High Peaks Cyclery owner Brian Delaney said. "Then we have registration and a little party on Friday night. So we are trying to make it a full three days of activities."

The High Peaks Cyclery has been a longtime sponsor of the Lake Placid Loppet and is running a few events for the new festival. Some of ORDA's other partners for the festival include the Lake Placid Biathlon Club and the Adirondack Ski Touring Council, among others, Seymour said.

High Peaks Cyclery will also host a wax clinic and is offering prizes for the festival. Delaney said he is excited for the weekend.

"We're trying to make it a bigger, better event," Delaney said. "It's just a joy to have snow in the East. The magic ingredient for people to get excited about cross-country skiing is the white stuff."

On Saturday skiers can participate in a 12.5K race at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Seymour said this will be a friendly race, and a good introduction to people who have never raced before. There will also be a Nordic Festival dinner on Saturday night at the Conference Center in downtown Lake Placid.

Seymour said the new festival is one more step toward making Mount Van Hoevenberg a nordic ski destination for the entire country and beyond.

"In the Northeast there is not a nordic festival that is a major event for really anyone," Seymour said. "So our hope is to build this up, for people from around the country and Canada to come to us, an event hopefully people can keep on their calendar from year to year."

The weekend will wrap up Sunday with the annual Lake Placid Loppet, a popular cross-country ski marathon. The Loppet was established 32 years ago, and thousands of skiers have enjoyed it over the years. The last day to register for the Loppet is today, and the cost is $125.

For more information on the Lake Placid Nordic Festival and the full schedule of events, visit Tickets for the festival are $25.



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