LAKE PLACID - Visitors and residents are invited to participate in several programs and events that will take place in and around the village festively decorated in red, white and blue lights and celebratory banners.
A 9-by-12-foot LED board will be located near Mid's Park on Main Street, where spectators can watch the competition in Sochi every day from Feb. 6 to 23. The big screen will be accompanied by a portable cauldron, which will be lit for every day of competition.
People are invited to take part in the 1980 Winter Games Trivia Contest. With every bit of trivia participants learn, they'll also have the opportunity to enter to win prizes. This townwide "scavenger hunt" is promoted as a fun way to learn about Lake Placid's winter sports heritage and to explore a variety of local businesses and organizations.
The 1980 Olympic Flame Cauldron at the North Elba Horse Show Grounds was test-fired recently and will be lit at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7. (Photo — Dave Gokey)
The 1980 Winter Games Facts posters are displayed at participating businesses throughout the Lake Placid region. Game participants who find the Facts will also find a unique entry form at that location. The more facts a participant finds, the more chances they'll have to win prizes, including a Lake Placid ski getaway - complete with lodging at High Peaks Resort, lift tickets and an Olympic Passport.
The opening ceremony of the Empire State Winter Games began at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 at the Lake Placid Olympic Center and included barrel jumping and a synchronized skating exhibition.
Four competitive sports will be featured during the Empire State Games Feb. 6-9: speed skating, rail jam, cross-country skiing and adaptive skiing. The menu of interactive sports at Sportsfest are: paintball biathlon, tubing, hockey shot, curling, snow games, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing. Also scheduled are demonstrations of barrel jumping and sled hockey.
On Friday, Feb. 7, the Lake Placid Center for the Arts will broadcast the grandeur of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremonies live on the big screen starting at 11 a.m. It is free and open to the public; however, $20 tickets are available for an Olympic party in the LPCA's upper lobby with food and drink.
At 6 p.m. Feb. 7, the 1980 Olympic Flame Cauldron in Lake Placid will be lit at the North Elba Horse Show Grounds to celebrate this year's Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The public is encouraged to attend this free ceremony. The lighting will be broadcast live by WPTZ Channel 5 News.
Following the 6 p.m. lighting, Olympians and other runners are invited to join the torch run on a route from the Flame Cauldron down Route 73 then along Main Street. The procession will end at Mid's Park, where a smaller, portable Empire State Winter Games cauldron will be lit. That cauldron will continue to burn throughout the competition at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Volunteers and officials from the 1980 Olympic Winter Games are invited to wear their 1980 uniforms and celebrate Lake Placid's Olympic heritage. The 1980 Olympic Flame Cauldron will burn only until approximately midnight the night of the lighting.
On Saturday, Feb. 8, the Empire State Winter Games will present a new event, the Empire Sportsfest, at the Olympic speed skating oval. Open to the public free of charge, Sportsfest will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. and will include fireworks, a DJ, and a bonfire with a number of athletic activities.
At the Olympic venues, the state Olympic Regional Development Authority has developed collectible trading cards and "photo opps" featuring seven local athletes who will compete in Sochi. People can collect these athlete cards by visiting the venues and taking their photos with life-sized cutouts of the athletes: Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Annelies Cook, Billy Demong, Peter Frenette, Jamie Greubel, Andrew Weibrecht, Erin Hamlin and Chris Mazdzer.
From Feb. 7 to 23, people can compete in some of the same winter sports that are being contested in Sochi while in Lake Placid. ORDA's Winter Challenge offers special opportunities to earn prizes and create memories while sampling multiple events at Lake Placid's winter Olympic sites, including bobsled, skeleton, biathlon, alpine racing, ski jumping, hockey, curling, speed skating, and figure skating.
Participants compete in just one or all activities and keep track of team results on the special edition 2014 Winter Challenge score card.
Olympic Sites Passports and score cards are available at any of the Olympic sites and score cards are available at the Visitors Bureau Information Center. Score cards can be turned in at the ORDA store on Main Street, and prizes can be redeemed with receipts and score cards at the store or at the information booth near the main entrance to the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena. For updates and contest details, visit lakeplacid.com/sochi-lake-placid.