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Lake Placid Community Day set for June 2

April 19, 2019
By ANDY FLYNN - Editor ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - This village may only have about 2,500 year-round residents, but the greater Lake Placid community is much larger, and celebrating this community has become a top priority for local leaders.

Enter the Lake Placid Community Day and Picnic - an old-fashioned country fair style day designed solely for the people who live, work and volunteer here.

"We do so many things for the world here," said Lake Placid Community Day Planning Committee Chair Valerie Abraham-Rogers. "We put on amazing events: World Cup events, bobsled, skiing, everything. We don't really do a lot just for us, just for the community. And that's what this day is really about, just being able to go out, have a good time, enjoy your neighbors, enjoy your friends and not worry about putting on something for somebody else. That's going to happen tomorrow."

Article Photos

Valerie Abraham-Rogers speaks to the crowd at the first-ever Lake Placid Community Day and Picnic in May 2018 at the North Elba Showgrounds. This year’s event will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 2.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

Two organizations came together to plan the first Lake Placid Community Day and Picnic in May 2018 - the Lake Placid/North Elba Community Development Commission and Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. Plus, the Lake Placid/North Elba Distinguished Volunteer of the Year Committee got involved.

Abraham-Rogers is involved with the Development Commission and Volunteer of the Year Committee.

"They (the Development Commission) had already been talking about doing this community picnic," she said. "In part of that discussion, they talked about the need to bolster our volunteer spirit a little bit. People were getting a little tired. They were also aging out. I said, well why don't we combine the two? It's the perfect combination."

Before last year, the adult and teen volunteers of the year were traditionally announced during a celebration at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Now they are announced at Lake Placid Community Day, which is set for 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 2 at the North Elba Showgrounds.

"I thought the development commission maybe would take it over," Abraham-Rogers said. "The development commission thought that the Distinguished Volunteer of the Year Committee would take it over. So it morphed into this (Community Day) committee."

Community Day was designed to celebrate everyone who contributes to life in the village of Lake Placid and town of North Elba. The town - which includes the hamlet of Ray Brook and part of the village of Saranac Lake - has just shy of 9,000 residents. That does not include seasonal residents that come to Lake Placid for the summer months, the hundreds of people who work in the town and village but live in other North Country communities, or the hundreds of people who volunteer for the many cultural and sporting events here.

"We really want to make sure that anybody that lives, works or volunteers in this community is invited to this day," Abraham-Rogers said. "That's all of the staff members, anybody that works at any of the establishments; they're the backbone of this community. Without these people, we wouldn't have what we have here. ... I'll talk to people who came here from Connecticut or Vermont to volunteer for something. We want to make sure they are all invited as well. It really is about bringing the whole community together."

At the North Elba Showgrounds, representatives from nonprofit organizations set up tables inside the main pavilion. In 2018, they included the Lake Placid Lions Club, Garden Club of Lake Placid, Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department and the Girl Scouts. With all the groups in one place, people can walk through and see what there is to do in the community.

"We have a lot of people that maybe want to volunteer for something but they don't really know what is available," Abraham-Rogers said. "It was a great opportunity for both the members of the community and these organizations to connect."

At the end of the pavilion, staff from the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery were serving beer.

"That was by design," Abraham-Rogers said. "If it was a beautiful day out and everybody was outside, we wanted to make sure people made it into the pavilion to check out all of the organizations, so we put the bar at the end of that so people would have to walk through and bring some traffic inside the pavilion."

Those who set up outside in 2018, such as the Lake Placid Public Library and the New York Ski Educational Foundation, offered children's games. The live music and lunch tent were also outside.

There is no admission, and a picnic-style lunch with hot dogs, hamburgers, side dishes and drinks is free.

"The goal when we started this, we wanted people to be able to show up without a dime in their pocket, have something to eat, have something to drink, have a good time and just enjoy the day," Abraham-Rogers said. "We even made sure the trolley was running. There was transportation out there so you could get out there without spending any money. We just wanted people to have a good time."

Three main sponsors support the Lake Placid Community Day and Picnic: Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, state Olympic Regional Development Authority and Ironman Lake Placid. In addition, Summit Lacrosse, Lions Club and Rotary Club contribute funding, and local businesses donate items for the gift bags handed to the volunteers of the year. Music this year will be provided by Big Boss Sausage and Maribyrd.



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