Frozen Fire & Lights began in 2003. And yes, it started with Paul Chambers wanting fireworks to celebrate his birthday ;) But the focus of the event was to highlight Fern Park with its miles of trails that were groomed for cross-country skiing (the ad that year didn't even mention snowshoeing), the pavilion that was flooded for ice skating and the newly cleared section of the hill for sledding. There was a spaghetti dinner at the fire hall and then the bonfire with free donuts and cocoa and an awesome display of fireworks over the frozen snow & ice in Arrowhead Park. Paul was able to get 28 businesses to help make that happen.
Since then we have added activities like the Cardboard Sled Races, which started in 2011 and became a staple. We tried a few things like the Adirondack Bank Sled Dog Races correspond with the event at least once, we held Youth Snowmobile Races a few times, and we even had a Kazoo Band. We have had a few clever snow sculptures created for us in front of Town Hall. The spaghetti dinner took place more than once, and recently the Inlet Community Church added a Pancake Breakfast and Rummage Sale. And we are hoping kites will become a permanant part of this event. And there are other activities that have stuck like the Noah's Ark Animal Workshop, the Inlet Public Library's Book Sale, Face Painting, Skishoe Demonstrations, Wine Tasting @ Fourth Lake Wine & Spirits, Happy Hour & Live Music @ The Woods Inn and Wine & a Chocolate Fountain @ Screamen Eagle.
In 2015 we decided we needed a king & queen to preside over this day. Who better suited for that first honor than French Louie himself, so capes were purchased, Paul & Reggie were sworn in that day and a new tradition began. Royalty that has followed: Greg & Toni Rudd, Bruce & Margie O'Hara, Matt & Amanda Miller (& Lorelei), Stephen Cole & Carrie Stallard and then Karl & Jill Marsh.
With COVID-19 still very much present, all of the gathering stated above that makes this event so much fun, is just not going to happen. But because the intent of this event was orginally to highlight Fern Park - we plan to keep the date on the calendar. This year's Frozen Fire & Lights will be about reminding us to appreciate what is in our backyard.
Karl & Jill Marsh will remain our frozen royal couple until we crown someone new in 2022. Even during a pandemic, they were amazing. Becasue of them, Inlet made our first-ever float for Old Forge's St. Patrick's Day Parade, which we "moved" through town that Saturday and it even made an apperance in Raquette Lake - which we hope will become another tradition! Inlet has a new annual event - Aloha Day! - thanks to their suggestion and they donned their capes and made a couple appearances, including during the Inlet Youth Commission's Halloween Costume Contest. I am looking forward to sharing more holidays & events with them in 2021!