Five Things Friday – Dec. 19

Welcome to Five Things Friday, your weekly installment of weekend highlights. With Christmas coming this week, we have a handful of last minute holiday happenings to get you into the holiday spirit, along with music, theater and a little of everything else.

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Watertown’s Irene C. Carman wins Shapiro Citizenship Award


Irene C. Carman, a consultant pharmacist for HealthDirect who has been active in raising funds for the Samaritan Auxiliary, was announced as the recipient of the 63rd annual Israel A. Shapiro Citizenship Award during a special ceremony at the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library on Wednesday morning.

“My first reaction was I was truly stunned and speechless,” Mrs. Carman said, adding she felt the award could have gone to any number of people in the community who were just as deserving. She said the award belongs to all people who volunteer their time to make the community a better place.

Mrs. Carman, Watertown, has been working at Samaritan Keep Home since 2005 and serves on the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee.

She has volunteered as the special events coordinator of the Samaritan Auxiliary and has chaired the “One Night, One Diamond” event for the last nine years, where she and her committee have raised more than $330,000 for hospital equipment at the Watertown hospital. She said that event is her favorite to volunteer for because it brings together people in the community who are dedicated to giving back to the hospital.

Mrs. Carman also is secretary of the Victims Assistance Center Board.

In her most recent endeavor, Mrs. Carman has taken the lead in a new program called “We Have A Little Emergency,” or WHALE. The WHALE program includes identification and information stickers for child car seats providing medical and personal information to first responders in the event of an emergency.

Mrs. Carman is the wife of Samaritan Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Thomas H. Carman.

The Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce Israel A. Shapiro Citizenship Award was established by Arnold I. Shapiro to honor the memory of his father, Israel, a longtime business leader in this community. Arnold was a director of the chamber at the time of his father’s death in 1952, and his son sensed a need in Watertown for a symbolic annual recognition of exceptional leadership on behalf of the city.

Mrs. Carman is the first award recipient since the death of Arnold I. Shapiro, who died March 5. She was nominated by Dr. Rachel Lewis.

President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Lynn M. Pietroski read a letter from Dr. Lewis during the award presentation.

Dr. Lewis wrote, “Irene is a natural leader. She has a keen intellect that readily grasps the requirements needed for successfully carrying out any project and the determination to see a project through to the end.”

She said the fact the award was specifically created as a way to recognize community service was an honor.

“It was obviously established with a very specific purpose,” Mrs. Carman said. “I think the award is heartwarming in and of itself, and I’m incredibly honored to feel my little bit of volunteerism meant so much for this community.”

The award is made on the basis of outstanding citizenship or for outstanding contribution in civic or social welfare activity.

Entries are judged in five key areas: outstanding citizenship, achievement, leadership, dedication and motivation.

A dinner will be Feb. 12 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Watertown to honor Mrs. Carman as the 2014 recipient of the Israel A. Shapiro Citizenship Award.

For more information, contact the chamber at 788-4400 or by email at



By Katherine Clark Ross, Times Staff Writer

South Jefferson “Whiz Quiz” team takes U.S. championship by defeating Watertown

The team from South Jefferson Central School District won this year’s “Whiz Quiz” championship by defeating the team from Watertown High School by a score of 780 to 300 in a match that aired Monday night.

But things weren’t all that easy for South Jefferson team, even though team adviser Alyssa E. Freeland had a good feeling about its chances when she put the team together this year.

The main stumbling block was the team’s quarter-final match against Thousand Islands Central.

“It was a harrowing experience,” South Jefferson “Whiz Quiz” team member Daniel J. Wetterhahn said of his team’s 310 to 295 victory in that quarter-final match against Thousand Islands. The victory propelled the team to the final match against Watertown.

“Whiz Quiz” is an academic knowledge show produced by public TV station WPBS-DT (digital television). It is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year with longtime host Glen H. Gough. In early October, four-member teams from 30 American and Canadian high schools made their way to the WPBS-DT studios on Arsenal Street, Watertown, to record the programs, which began airing Oct. 20.

“Whiz Quiz” teams battle against teams from their own countries, but an international match between the American winners, South Jefferson, and the Canadian winners, Baybridge Secondary School from Kingston, Ontario, airs at 8 tonight.

Mrs. Freeland said at the beginning of the contests, she was particularly impressed by Mr. Wetterhahn, a junior, who has been selected for the team since he was a freshman.

“He’s pretty impressive as far as these things are concerned,” Mrs. Freeland said, recalling when Mr. Wetterhahn was a freshman, he was honored at an academic challenge contest at Madrid-Waddington Central School for being the top individual scorer.

Mr. Wetterhahn, his team’s top scorer in all matches, said each team member brought particular skills.

In addition to Mr. Wetterhahn, the team consisted of senior Drew A. Safford, junior Parker Leikam and junior Samuel A. Fairchild.

“Our team could cover the different disciplines in each of the questions,” Mr. Wetterhahn said in a conference call with other team members except for Mr. Leikam, who couldn’t attend because he was at a New York State School Music Association All-Band conference in Rochester.

Mr. Safford, who marked his second year on the team, was its math whiz.

“I was able to do them in my head faster than most people could write them down on paper,” Mr. Safford said. “There was also some science questions I got.”

“We had good chemistry and great teamwork,” said Mr. Fairchild, who was new to the team this year. “Everyone knew their strengths, and possibly their weaknesses. We all contributed to the things we were strongest at. It made for a very good team.”

Mrs. Freeland, a social studies teacher who has been the team’s adviser for nearly a decade, said she has seen increased interest in “Whiz Quiz” the past few years.

“When I first started, I was lucky to get six or seven kids,” Mrs. Freeland said. “It’s been going up bit by bit.”

In addition to the four team members, Mrs. Freeland selects alternate team members who could substitute in case a team member becomes ill. They also compete at practices and attend all matches.

Those alternate team members were juniors Harrison Fish and Darby O’Keefe and sophomores Alexis Patell and Timothy Beese.

The runner-up team from Watertown High School, advised by Michael Garnsey, were juniors Lydia Fillhart and John Hoefler and seniors Jacob Roux and Jacob Favret.

Mrs. Freeland said the championship match against Watertown and the international championship, which airs tonight, were taped at WPBS studios on the same day.

“It was very exciting,” she said. “We taped the match against Watertown at 9:30 that morning, we had 20 minutes, and then we had to tape the next match. By the time both one-hour matches are done, there’s that strange, exhausted elation.”

Winners of “Whiz Quiz” receive funds donated by the Air Force, Watertown Noon Rotary Club, Malone Rotary Club and the Theresa Rotary Club. The school of the first-place team receives $1,200 and the school of the runner-up’s team receives $800 to be used at the discretion of the schools, according to a WPBS-DT spokeswoman. There is no award money for the international match.



By Chris Brock, Times Staff Writer

New York Farm Bureau collects record amount of food for needy families

Nearly 9.6 million pounds of food and farm products have been donated by New York Farm Bureau members through November, translating to nearly 8 million meals to New Yorkers in need, the bureau announced last week.

A record amount of food has been collected in this year’s “Harvest for All” donation program, a nationwide farm donation partnership linking the bureau with food banks run by Feeding America. The amount of food collected through November is more than 1 million pounds greater than what had been collected last year at the same time.

The Food Bank of Central New York, which covers the north country region, collected 3,262,296 pounds of food through November.

“Farmers are a generous bunch, evident by the incredible donations made throughout the year as part of the Feeding America program,” Dean Norton, bureau president, said in a statement. “New York Farm Bureau understands the needs that exist in our communities, and it is important that we work together to make sure everyone has access to healthy, safe food, including when times are tough.”

via Watertown Daily Times

Hoping for a White Christmas? Watertown has New York’s best chance


The city has one of the best shots in America of having a white Christmas, according to historical data released last week.

Evaluating data from 1981-2010, Watertown has a 78 percent chance of seeing an inch of snow on the ground as of Dec. 25, behind locations in Alaska, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Maine and North Dakota.

The projections were released by the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.

Other places with high probabilities of snow run throughout the northern part of the country and the Midwest.

“Minnesota. Maine. Upstate New York. The Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia,” said the National Climatic Data Center in a news release. “Practically anywhere in Idaho. And of course, the Rockies or the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These are the places where weather history suggests you want to be if you’re looking for the best chance of a white Christmas.”

The historical data was used due to lingering uncertainty of how the several inches of snow that hit the Northeast this past week will stick between now and the holiday.

For many in the north country, a white Christmas would likely be much appreciated.

At this time last year, the north country was recovering from a brutal ice storm over the weekend leading up to the holiday, which led to treacherous road conditions and power outages for thousands of homes.

Top probabilities for one inch of snow or more on Christmas Day in America:

1) Fairbanks, Alaska: 100 percent

2) Duluth, Minn.: 96 percent

3) Pinkham Notch, N.H.: 93 percent

4) Caribou, Maine: 90 percent

5) Grand Forks, N.D.: 85 percent

6) Watertown, N.Y.: 78 percent

7) Madison, Wis.: 70 percent

8) Burlington, Vt.: 68 percent

9) Syracuse, N.Y.: 66 percent

10) Flagstaff, Ariz.: 63 percent


Top five probabilities for one inch of snow or more on Christmas in New York:

1) Watertown: 78 percent

2) Syracuse: 66 percent

3) Binghamton: 62 percent

4) Buffalo: 62 percent

5) Ithaca: 59 percent


*Information via Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University

By Gordon Block, Times Staff Writer

Five Things Friday – Dec. 12

Happy Friday! Here’s Five Things Friday, your weekend event roundup.

Breakfast with Santa

1. Breakfast with Santa, 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Thompson Park Zoo, 1 Thompson Park, Watertown. Cost: $15, person; $40, family of four; zoo members, 20 percent off.

Enjoy craft time and a visit with Santa. Note that space limited. Tickets/info: zoo, 782-6180 or

2. Breakfast with Santa, 9 a.m. Saturday, St. Lawrence Centre Mall, 6100 St. Lawrence Center, Massena. Tickets: $5.

Intended for ages 3 to 12. Event to benefit Massena Boys & Girls Club. Information: mall, 764-1001.

3. Breakfast with Santa, 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Lacona Fire Hall, 34 Maple Ave., Lacona.

Donations to be accepted. Event free to children 10 and younger.

4. Breakfast with Santa, 9 a.m. Saturday, Lyons Falls Library, 3918 High St., Lyons Falls.

Children’s story hour breakfast with Santa, with crafts to follow.  If parents would like to eat breakfast, a $2 donation is appreciated. RSVP: library, 348-6180 or

5. Fourth annual breakfast with Santa, 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Hammond Presbyterian Church, 217 County Road 134, Hammond. Cost: $5 per family.

Enjoy a hot meal, face painting, gift bags, keepsake photo with Santa and, of course, a chat with the Claus’. All proceeds will be given to a local family.


1. Holiday book and bake sale, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Norwood Public Library, 1 Morton St., Norwood.

Event held by Friends of the Norwood Public Library. Shoppers can expect hardback fiction, nonfiction, paperbacks, children’s books, a $1-a-bag table and lots of goodies for sale. Info: library, 353-6692.

2. Craft fair, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Paynter Center, 914 Strawberry Lane, Clayton.

Info: Clayton Chamber of Commerce, 686-3771.

3. Craft fair, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Eagles Club, 19260 Route 11, Watertown.

Info: Eagles club, 782-5495.

4. One stop holiday shop vendor blender, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Massena Moose Lodge, 4 Ames Street, Massena.

Event plans to offer more than 20 vendors and crafters, as well as raffles, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle. Shop sponsored by Massena Rotary for the Massena Boys & Girls Club. Info: Tanya Moulton, 323-0647 or

5. Holiday store, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Home Again Alpaca Farm, 37098 Schell Road, Theresa.

Farm plans to sell hats, scarves, mittens, socks, sweaters and yarn. Ten percent of sales donated to Theresa Food Pantry. Information: farm, 628-5302.

Holiday parties

1.  Annual children’s Christmas party, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Heuvelton Fire Department, 95 State St., Heuvelton.

Events planned include sleigh and fire truck rides, food, crafts, and a visit from Santa at 1 p.m. Info: fire department, 344-2426.

2. Christmas parade, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, along Broadway from Kanady to Esselstyne Streets, Cape Vincent.

Personal or household products to be collected for food pantry. Info: Mary Rupp, village office, 654-2533.

3. Black and white ball: 31st annual holiday gala, 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Frederic Remington Art Museum, 303 Washington St., Ogdensburg. Cost: $65; members, $60; advance tickets, $5 off.

Music by DJ Big B’s Beats and Lester Gates, silent auction, cash bar, hor d’oeuvres and portraits by Wendy June Photography. Info: museum, 393-2425.

4. Ugly sweater party, 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, BIN 427, 427 S. Market St., Cape Vincent.

Music to be provided by Dave and Cathy Parker. Info: Cape Vincent Chamber of Commerce, 654-2481.

5. Rockin’ around the Christmas tree, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Ogdensburg Elks Lodge, 322 Caroline St., Ogdensburg. Cost: donation towards Pj’s for Christmas, local food pantries or Toys for Tots.

Planned entertain featuring Dragonfly, Jeff Stein and Dave Wells. Food and drinks will be available. Info: lodge, 393-5430.


1. TAUNY jam, 7 to 8:30 p.m. today, TAUNY Center, 53 Main St., Canton.

Event is hosted by Barb Heller and Don Woodcock, and plans to feature old time fiddle tunes. All levels of musicians, singers and step dancers are welcome. Info: 386-4289,

2. “Christmas Around the World,” 7:30 p.m. today, Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam, 44 Pierrepont Ave., Potsdam. Tickets: $22; $20, seniors; $10, students ages 6 to 17; free, children 12 and younger. Season tickets: $124, general admission; $112, seniors; $56, students; free, children 12 and younger.

Orchestra of Northern New York to perform holiday music. Preconcert conversation planned for 45 minutes before concert.  Info: Potsdam Community Performance Series, 267-2277.

3. Art market, 10 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Arts Studio, Downtown Snell Hall, 41 Elm St., Potsdam. Free.

Event offers an opportunity to meet local artists, view work and buy directly from artists. Info: St. Lawrence County Arts Council, 265-6860.

4. Rhonda’s FooteWorks holiday show, 2 p.m. Sunday, Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St, Watertown. 

Donations to benefit Signal 30 Fund will be accepted. Event plans to include a silent auction and raffle, performances by Rhonda’s FooteWorks students of all ages and abilities, as well as guest artists from Stage Notes. Info: Rhonda’s Footeworks, or 771-8089.

5. Holiday ornament making, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Hawn Memorial Library, 220 John St., Clayton.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, Hawn Memorial Library, 220 John St. Info: library, 686-3762.

Family fun

1. Christmas Greek pastry and sweet bread sale, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church, 502 Franklin St., Watertown.

Info: church, 788-4920.

2. Lake Placid holiday village stroll, weekend long, village of Lake Placid.

Village to offer shopping, live music, arts and crafts, tree lighting with Santa and family-friendly activities. Info: visitors’ bureau, 518-523-2445. 

3. Jingle bell 5K run/walk, registration from 7 to 8 a.m., race at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Public Beach, Lake Placid. Cost: $20.

Event to benefit North Elba Christmas Fund and Adirondack Health’s Fit for Life Program. Bring unwrapped toys, or if not participating, drop off donations day of the event. Info: Mary Carmody, 518-897-2483.

4. Kris Kringle, 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Potsdam Town Hall Community Room, 18 Elm St., Potsdam.

Hosted by Potsdam Kiwanis Club. Event planned to include a chance for children to meet Kris Kringle, holiday music, craft projects, reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and snacks. Info: Marylee Ballou, 274-9000.

5. Family fun night, 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Denny’s Restaurant, 1142 Arsenal St., Watertown.

Event planned to offer free face painting, a visit from Santa, raffles and prizes. Twenty percent of dinner sales benefit Watertown Urban Mission. Collecting donations of nonperishable food and unwrapped new toys. Info: Urban Mission, 782-8441.

Not enough north country for you? Check out the Watertown Daily Times events calendar for the extensive list of all NNY events. 

Weather Channel lists Cream Cheese Festival as ‘wacky’ event

The Cream Cheese Festival has once again gained recognition for its wackiness, this time from The Weather Channel.

The weather-based conglomerate recently listed the annual downtown festival here, which celebrated its 10th year in September, as one of “7 Wild and Wacky Fall Festivals” worldwide.

“It’s great PR for the county,” festival Chairman Roger G. Abbey said.

A representative of the channel contacted festival organizers and requested information and pictures to use for the list, Mr. Abbey said.

“They came looking for us,” he said.

“Fall festivals usually make us think of carved jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating and Oktoberfest beer, but around the world, there are many wild, wacky ways to celebrate the season,” The Weather Channel website said. “From catapult-launching pumpkins to painting with cream cheese to jumping off bridges, there are a lot of ways to celebrate autumn.”

Cream Cheese Festival organizers are no strangers to such recognition. In 2011 and 2012, TripAdvisor listed the festival as one of the top 10 wacky summer events in America, even though it occurs in September.

However, that particular list was limited to U.S. events, while three of the seven events on The Weather Channel’s list are international: the Pushkar Camel Fair in India, the Mid-Autumn Festival in China and the Jurade de Saint-Emilion in France, a two-day festival in the Bordeaux region celebrating the annual wine harvest.

The three other domestic festivals are Bridge Day, in which more than 450 base jumpers hurl themselves off America’s second-highest bridge, New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia, the Punkin Chunkin world championships in Delaware and the Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Idaho.

To view information and photos of all seven wacky festivals, visit


By Steve Virkler, Johnson Newspapers

Gouverneur native places third in “Jeopardy!” appearance

Despite a valiant effort in her debut on “Jeopardy!” Monday night, Gouverneur native and 2004 St. Lawrence University graduate Amanda J. Miller placed third after wagering and losing $3,300 in the final round. She finished with $100.

“I wish I had wagered slightly differently, even to get myself into second place, but I don’t regret what I did,” says Mrs. Miller, who lives in East Greenbush. “At the time it made sense.”

All three contestants were stumped with the Final Jeopardy question in the category of “Movie Title References,” which read as follows: “For this 1971 film, the reference is to the 1948 film ‘Red River.’”

None of the contestants were able to come up with the correct answer, “The Last Picture Show.” Returning champion Ann Conger did not even guess, let alone wager a cent of her $9,000.

Mrs. Miller, who answered “Red Dawn,” lost all but her last $100.

For the third place finish she received $1,000, which she said mostly paid for her travel expenses to be on the show.

Despite the loss, Mrs. Miller said the mood was light at the viewing party at her house, where 15 friends and relatives cheered at every right answer she made.

“They had a ball,” she said, adding that one friend had brought in a special Jeopardy cake to celebrate the occasion. “They weren’t disappointed that I ended up in third place, especially after seeing the episode.”

She said for her, one difficulty was mastering the timing for the buzzer lockout system, something which the contestants practiced before competing.

In the first round of her appearance Monday, Mrs. Miller played conservatively, correctly answering questions on Shakespeare, David Bowie and the state of Pennsylvania. At the end of the first round, she had won $1,800.

By the end of Double Jeopardy! she had amassed $3,400, picking up money for right answers on Shakespeare, English knights and baking soda.

As an English royal history buff, she said she was frustrated that she missed a question on Richard the Lionheart.

“I was so mad when I didn’t get that one,” she said. “I love reading about the English kings and queens, and I’m like ‘I don’t know how I missed Richard the Lionheart.’”

Mrs. Miller was selected to appear on “Jeopardy!” after taking an online quiz and doing an in-person audition, something only 4 percent of 50,000 quiz takers get to do.

The audition includes additional testing, an interview and a practice round, after which candidates’ names are put into a pool of contestants for 18 months, Mrs. Miller told the Troy-based newspaper, The Record. To her knowledge, Mrs. Miller said only 300 to 500 people are then selected to be contestants on the show.

Mrs. Miller has spent nearly 10 years trying for a spot on “Jeopardy!”


By Alan Rizzo, Times Staff Writer

Inaugural Watertown Kwanzaa celebration jubilant, with tones of reflection and concern

The inaugural Watertown Kwanzaa was a jubilant affair, celebrating African-American and Pan-African heritage with drums and dancing, spoken word poetry, guitar music, words of wisdom and history lectures. Toward the end of the program, members of the audience lit candles representing the Nguzo Saba, or seven principles of Kwanzaa, and children were given copies of W.E.B. Du Bois’s “The Souls of Black Folk.”

But events around the country, including grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Mo. and Staten Island, cast a pall over the proceedings, deepening, lengthening and broadening the shadows surrounding America’s troubled racial heritage.

“It’s really what we have to think about, these ongoing issues of police brutality,” said guest speaker Segun Shabaka, after the ceremony. “It’s not separated from the ongoing struggles facing our community — lack of freedom, lack of justice, lack of equality. The problem is, we only have a 30 second attention span, we forget this is our history, we forget it’s a historical problem, this injustice or lack of justice, it’s part of the violence that keeps us suppressed.”

The event was organized by Bianca D. Ellis, Watertown, a soldier who completed her service at Fort Drum.

Ms. Ellis, a New York City native, said she wanted to hold the event to change people’s perception of their cultural history.

“I hope they took away something that inspired them, I hope they realized, ‘Hey, it’s okay to associate myself with the past,’” Ms. Ellis said. “We only talk about the bad stuff. We’re not taught that all people are descended from Africa, that it’s the cradle of all life and civilization, all humanity. That can really change the way we look at one another.”

The ceremony was lively, with music and dancing provided by the Mounafanyi Pan-African Percussion & Dance Ensemble, a group from Rochester. And Ms. Ellis’s desired effect, one of inspiration, seems to have been achieved. Antonio Jemes, who performed a song on the guitar with Isaiah Cantey, Watertown, initially had trouble with the lyrics he wrote, mentioning how moved he was by the words of Mr. Shabaka. He said he had no prior experience with the holiday.

But from the words of Mr. Jemes’s song, which included the names of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, to the remarks made by Mr. Shabaka and the Rev. Bernard Robinson of Great Bend to the poetry of Rae Sunshine of Syracuse, it was apparent that many challenges still lie ahead for all sides of the race debate — as many challenges, or more, than when Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1965, according to the Rev. Mr. Robinson.

“I look back at the ’60s and where we are right now. Do you think I see impressiveness or do you think I see caution?” the Rev. Mr. Robinson said.

“Caution,” the crowd murmured.

“Caution,” the Rev. Mr. Robinson said.

“Unity, that’s what we need to do in our communities, our families,” he said. “We can work together, we can get together… We need to come together as a family.”

Kwanzaa was created in 1965 by Maulana Karenga. Its seven principles are: umoja, or unity; kujichagulia, or self-determination; ujima, collective work and responsibility; ujamaa, cooperative economics; nia, purpose; kuumba, creativity; and imani, faith. It is celebrated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

As the Kwanzaa celebration was held in Watertown on Saturday, protests continued across the country and the world in the wake of grand jury decisions not to charge police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner in Staten Island.


By Daniel Flatley, Times Staff Writer

Five Things Friday – Dec. 5

Happy Friday! Here’s a five by five list highlighting the happenings of the weekend.

All kinds of art

1. Michiko Taylor: Life and Nature” opening, 5 to 7 p.m. today, Potsdam Town Hall, 18 Elm St., Potsdam. Free and open to the public.

Can’t make it tonight? The art exhibit features still life and landscape paintings on display through Wednesday, Jan. 14. Info: St. Lawrence County Arts Council, 265-6860.

2. Christmas Presence” opening, 5 to 7 p.m. today, Adirondack Artists Guild, 52 Main St., Saranac Lake.

Exhibit features ceramic art by Mary Lou Reid, on display through Wednesday, Jan. 7. Items available for sale. Info: guild, 518-891-2615.

3. TAUNY open house, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow, TAUNY Center, 53 Main St., Canton.

April Blanchard, author of “The Woodsman’s Boy,” plans to sign books from 10 to 11:45 a.m. Refreshments will be available. Live music scheduled: Vocal Skies, 10:15 a.m.; Sweet Adelines, 11 a.m.; Goldenaires, 11:45 a.m.; Ray Gardner and Don Woodcock, 1 p.m.; Contra Tune School, 2 p.m.; Camilla Ammirati, 3 p.m. Info: TAUNY center, 386-4289.

4. Poets and writers INK, 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow, Cape Vincent Community Library, 157 N. Real St., Cape Vincent.

Sponsored by the Cape Vincent Arts Council. Info: council, 654-2413.

5. Elf workshop, 10 to 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, Children’s Room, Flower Memorial Library, 229 Washington St., Watertown. Free, materials supplied.

Event designed for children ages 11 and younger. Children will leave with two wrapped gifts. Parents must remain. Bring camera for pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Info: library, 785-7705.

Exercise your body and brain

1. St. Lawrence Valley chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness meeting, 3 p.m. today, Human Resources Building, 80 Route 310, Human Services Center, Canton.

Planned speakers are Nicole Kennedy, ACT Team, and Alison Thornhill, supported housing, of United Helpers MOSAIC group. Refreshments available. Info: 287-9780 or 265-8662.

2. Intro to geocaching workshop, noon to 1:30 p.m. tomorrow, Wachtmeister Field Station, Park Street, County Route 27, Canton.

Bring GPS device or GPS-enabled mobile phone to participate. Remember to dress for the weather. Children 15 and younger should be accompanied by adult. Organized by Nature Up North.

3. Chemistry magic show, 2 to 3 p.m. tomorrow, Clarkson Science Center, Room 360, Clarkson University, 8 Clarkson Ave., Potsdam. Cost: one new, unwrapped toy or gift, or monetary donation for the Potsdam Holiday Fund.

Event feautres Clarkson University professor, Jim Peploski‘s experiments, “Dr. Jim’s Chemistry Magic Show.” Show targeted to children, but for all ages. Info: Clarkson, 268-6400.

4. Early winter hike/ski/snowshoe, tomorrow, Higley Flow State Park, Colton.

Trail is two miles and easy. Campfire at the Warm Brook lean-to. Hot dogs and marshmallows will be provided. Event is all ages, and dogs on a leash are OK.  Presented by ADK Laurentian Chapter. Info: Blair Madore, 265-0602 or

5. “Let it Snow” 5K run/walk, 9 a.m. Sunday, Old Forge Fire Hall, 116 Fulton St, Old Forge. 

Event to benefit MAC’s Safe Ride and late-night alternative transportation system. Register: click here. Info: MAC’s, 369-8121.

Visit with Santa

1. Breakfast with Santa, 8 to 11 a.m. tomorrow, First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 189 Main St., Massena. Cost: $5.

Hosted by Massena Cub Scouts Pack 31.

2. Breakfast with Santa, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, Thompson Park Zoo, 1 Thompson Park, Watertown. Cost: $15, person; $40, family of four; zoo members, 20 percent off.

Enjoy craft time and a visit with Santa. Space is limited. Tickets, info: zoo, 782-6180,

3. Breakfast with Santa, 9 to 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, Madrid-Waddington Elementary cafeteria, 2582 New York Route 345, Madrid. Cost: $6; children 3 to 10, $4; children 2 and younger, free; pictures with Santa, donation.

Meal offered includes pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee. Event sponsored by United Church of Madrid.

4. Eighth annual Philly primary breakfast with Santa and craft fair, 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow, Philadelphia Primary School, 3 Sand St. Philadelphia.

Planned events include pictures with Santa, holiday activities and craft tables. To benefit Philadelphia Primary PTO.

5. Santa central, 2 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Clayton Opera House, 405 Riverside Drive, Clayton.

Activities planned include bounce house, letters to Santa, a visit from Santa and crafts. Event to lead into the community holiday parade. Information: opera house, 686-2200; Clayton Chamber of Commerce, 686-3771.


1. “One Bethlehem Night, a Musical Twist to the Story of Christmas,” 7:30 p.m. today and tomorrow; 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Emmanuel United Church of Christ, 119 S. Hamilton St., Watertown. Cost: Dessert theatre, $15; dinner theatre, $30.

Sunday’s dinner theatre planned to include 5:30 p.m. bus to Pete’s Trattoria for dinner, return to church for show and dessert. Reservations, tickets, info: church, 782-2650.

2. Fourth annual festival of music, 7 p.m. today, Turin United Methodist Church, 6328 E. Main St., Turin.

Planned musical entertainment provided by Gloria and Hannah Kessler, Chris and Jim Chaufty, Jennifer and Liberty Voght, Romeyn Noftsier, Gabbie Hartley; piano by Leon Austin. Donations to Lewis Coounty Humane Society.

3. Student choreographers’ concert, 7:30 p.m. today; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. tomorrow; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dance Theater, SUNY Potsdam, 44 Pierrepont Ave., Potsdam. Free.

Tickets will be available at the door beginning one hour before performance. Info: Department of Theatre and Dance, 267-2556.

4. Dance concert, 8 p.m. today and tomorrow, Gulick Theater, St. Lawrence University, 23 Romoda Drive, Canton.

Tickets available through Gulick box office, 1 to 5 p.m. today. Info: St. Lawrence University, 229-5184.

5. Holiday cabaret, 7 p.m. Sunday, Pendragon Theartre, 15 Brandy Brook Ave., Saranac Lake. Cost: $10.

Tickets, info: 518-891-1854,

Light up the holiday

1. TIYLO’s sixth annual masquerade ball, 8 p.m. to midnight today, Clayton Opera House, 405 Riverside Drive. Cost: $35, presale; $40, at the door.

Formal wear required. Mask sales available at the door. Activities planned include mask face paintings, passed hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, photo booth and cash bar. Music by Fred & The Eds. Presented by Thousand Islands Young Leaders Organization. Info: opera house, 686-2200.

2. Festival of trees and sugarplum ball, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. public viewing, 6 p.m. preview gala today;  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. public viewing, sugarplum ball, 6 p.m. tomorrow; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. public viewing, silent auction ends, 1 p.m. Sunday, Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St., Watertown.

This year’s theme is “Sights and Sounds of the Season,” featuring over 50 trees decorated to create a magically festive setting, along with musical performances by local schools, dance studios and choral groups. Info: 785-5745.

3. Festival of trees, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, Thousand Islands Museum, 312 James St., Clayton. Free.

Event features trees, snowmen, Christmas displays, and baskets of products for raffles. Bring non perishable food item for local food pantry. Information: museum, 686-5794.

4. 52nd annual Christmas parade, 6 p.m. tomorrow, Clayton.

This year’s theme is “a storybook Christmas.” Fireworks planned to follow. Donations to be accepted at Clayton Chamber of Commerce, or Karla’s Christmas Shoppe. Information: or the chamber, 686-3771.

5. Light up Pulaski, 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Pulaski Historical Society, 3428 Maple Ave., Pulaski.

Santa will meet with children in Carriage House. Music on guitar by Bev Rossman, Museum house. Punch and cookies provided. Information: historical society, 298-4650,

Not enough north country for you? Check out the Watertown Daily Times calendar for everything that’s happening in NNY.