Sometime recently I realized that I am from the last generation of rural north country residents who may have attended school — at least their first few years of school — in a one-room schoolhouse. Actually, my little St. Lawrence County hamlet of Hopkinton was pretty advanced. We went to a two-room schoolhouse, with the first three grades downstairs and grades four through six upstairs. It wasn’t until my sixth grade year that the new elementary school was finished and we had a classroom of our own. In the 1940s and 50s, multiple small schools in rural towns combined forces, built large buildings for grades kindergarten through 12 with all kinds of extra features, and nearly everyone rode The Yellow Peril — the school bus — each day. That fact inevitably inspired a predictable observation from our elders: “You young ones have it really lucky these days. When I was your age, we had to walk to school, rain or shine. A mile and a half. Each way!” Isn’t nostalgia great? Things from the past always look better (or bigger or stronger or harder or worse, even) than the present and, certainly, the future. [Read more...]
1) Holiday festivities will light up Watertown’s Public Square tonight, starting at 5:30 p.m. with a performance by the Jefferson Singers from JCC on the north side of the square. The annual holiday parade starts at 5:45 p.m. and has more than 40 entries this year. The route starts in the J.B. Wise Parking Lot, enters Public Square at Mill Street and ends in the Court Street parking lot. An official countdown to turn on the holiday music and light display starts at 6:30 p.m. and Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will greet children in the Public Square gazebo until 7:30 p.m.
2) Another event to get you into the holiday spirit is “Santa Central” at the Clayton Opera House on Saturday from 3 p.m. until the start of the Clayton Holiday Parade at 6 p.m. The event includes a bouncy house, a holiday craft station, a write-a-letter-to-Santa table and several holiday film shorts. There will also be hot cocoa, coffee, tea or water, and baked goods. Admission is free. Other Christmas-themed activities Saturday in Clayton include a craft show and basket raffle at the Knights of Columbus Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a holiday food fair at St. Mary’s Parish Center (515 James St.) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the annual Dickens Christmas Festival at Hawn Memorial Library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a holiday social and trunk show at the TI Arts Center. The TI Winery will also host Kris Kringle Market, a German-style indoor Christmas market featuring local crafters, food, wine tastings, winery tours and Santa’s workshop, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A full schedule of Christmas activities in Clayton can be found here.
3) Isaac James, a classical pianist who grew up in the Watertown area and now lives in Vermont, will make his debut solo piano recital in his hometown area tonight at 7 p.m. at Jefferson Community College’s Sturtz Theater. Mr. James, who made his Carnegie Hall debut a year ago, will perform works by Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Schumann, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff and others on a Yamaha 9-foot concert grand piano. The concert will also feature a special guest artist. Mr. James, who competed in the prestigious annual 1000 Islands International Piano Competition in Cape Vincent, has studied with instructors from the Julliard School of Music and Mannes College of Music in NYC and performed widely on the East Coast. The concert is free.
4) Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, 53 Main St., Canton, is hosting a Holiday Open House on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event includes the opening of the Sugar & Spice Gingerbread exhibit of gingerbread houses, a Holiday Showcase featuring artist and folk store wares, and a performance by Vocal Skies Sacred Harp singing group at 11:30 a.m. The group will also perform its slate of 18th and 19th century Christmas hymns at 3:30 p.m. at Pickens Hall in Huevelton. Vocal Skies is a Canton-based ensemble that sings in the sacred harp tradition. A variety of other holiday-themed events are also happening in Canton on Saturday: A book, bake and craft sale at the Canton Free Library from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; the Holly Berry Bazaar at the St. Mary’s School gymnasium sponsored by the E. J. Noble Guild, which raises money for the hospital by selling lunch, Christmas gifts and decorations; a visit by Santa at the Brewer Bookstore, 92 Park St. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and a holiday open house from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Silas Wright House, 3 E. Main St.
5) This weekend is the annual Festival of Trees and Sugarplum Ball at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown. The Gala Dinner takes place tonight, followed by the Sugarplum Ball on Saturday. Public viewings of decorated large and small trees will be today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets to the gala are $70 each, and tickets to the Sugarplum Ball are $70 per parent-child couple, and $35 for each additional child. To reserve tickets to either event, call 785-5745 or visit www.samaritanhealth.com.
Also going on: The fifth annual charity Christmas masquerade ball at Bonnie Castle Resort in Alexandria Bay is tonight from 8 p.m. to midnight. The event benefits local families in need during the Christmas season and includes hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, a cash bar and music by Nik Lite of Nik and the Nice Guys. Tickets are $40 and masks will be available starting at $5. Visit www.TIYLO.org for more information.
Happy Thanksgiving! Whether you plan to brave the crowds on Black Friday or stay inside the comfort of your home in a post-turkey coma, there are several great events this weekend to take advantage of if you have some time off and need to get out of the house.
1) If you’re feeling particularly brave, consider taking a “dip” into the St. Lawrence River during Saturday’s Pluck & Plunge festival in Cape Vincent to benefit a community Christmas party for the needy and the Cape Vincent Volunteer Fire Department. You can pick up sponsor sheets at Breakers Restaurant, 194 E. Broadway, or call the restaurant at 501-5050. Participants who raise the most money will have their choice of a pair of diamond earrings or a new television as a prize. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed “plunger.” The event starts at noon at the restaurant and onlookers will walk down to the river at 1 p.m. Following the “plunge,” the restaurant will host a variety of festivities, including karaoke and a horseshoe tournament. Actor Frank Shattuck, who appeared on “Boardwalk Empire” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” will join the day’s events and be available for autographs and photo opportunities. The dinner for the needy will take place Dec. 23.
2) The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park is hosting Black (Bear) Friday, during which you can enjoy bear-themed activities and stories inside the discovery center from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; chat with the bear’s keeper, Melanie, at the bear exhibit from 12:30 to 3 p.m. to learn more about caring for the bear; and shop for discounted souvenirs in the gift shop. The program is free with zoo admission. Winter Wonderland Weekends also kick off this weekend at the zoo and run every weekend through Dec. 29. The event, which takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each weekend from 5:30 to 8 p.m., lets you stroll the zoo and enjoy its holiday light decorations. Hot chocolate, coffee and other refreshments will be available at the Wildside Cafe. Tickets to that event are $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 3 to 12. Zoo members are free.
3) If you’re looking to take a day trip from the north country, the Wild Center in Tupper Lake is hosting Black & White Day Friday. The event includes a trunk show of local Adirondack artisans showcasing local photographers and painters, jewelry makers, knitters, leather goods and unique items from The Wild Supply Co., which can be gift wrapped for free. There will also be live music by Rustic Riders, crafts for children, seasonal treats and special activities surrounding the center’s pair of skunks, Night and Day. Admission is just $5 for adults and free for children ages 14 and younger. A full list of vendors at the event can be found here.
4) Another great indoor activity closer to home is a performance by hard rock and heavy metal band Halestorm on Saturday in McVean Gymnasium at Jefferson Community College at 7 p.m. Halestorm won its first Grammy Award in February in the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category for its song “Love Bites (So Do I)” from its 2012 album “The Strange Case Of…” The Pennsylvania-based band also released two other albums in 2012, “Hello It’s Mz Hyde” and “ReAniMate.” The band is composed of siblings Arejay and Lzzy Hale, Joe Hottinger and Josh Smith. Local band Lake Effect Mud will open the concert. Tickets are $35 for the general public and $20 for JCC students; call 786-2431 or visit www.sunyjefferson.edu.
5) The American Maple Museum on Main Street in Croghan is hosting a “Maple Friday” event on Friday and Saturday during which you can purchase maple-themed gifts and stocking stuffers, including sweatshirts and t-shirts, maple jewelry, candles, crafts and various other items on sale. The museum will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the museum is $10 for families with two adults and two or more children; $4 for adults; $1 for children ages 5 to 14; and free for children ages five and younger.
6) In Motion School of Dance will present the eighth annual performance of the holiday classic The Nutcracker on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown. Tickets are $12 for the general public and $6 for children. On Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the State Office Building, there will be a Holiday Craft Fair & Market to benefit the Watertown Urban Mission, featuring local vendors and crafters selling baked goods, farm goods, crafts, woodworking products, toys, home decorations and more. Admission is $2.
7) Also in Watertown, Immaculate Heart Central schools will be staging a Polar Express holiday show featuring Rhonda’s FooteWorks dancers and Stage Notes singers on Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. at the high school, 1316 Ives St. The 2 p.m. show will be signed for the hearing impaired. The event benefits Daimon and Seeley Tuttle, 3 years and 8 months old, who suffer from Persistent Fetal Vascular Syndrome, and will also include a silent auction. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $5 for military personnel. Suggested attire is holiday pajamas. For advance tickets or to donate, email email@example.com.
8) If you’re interested in moving right into the spirit of the next holiday, there will be a holiday of lights kickoff in Canton on Friday at 6 p.m., including Santa, a tree lighting, caroling, sleigh wagon rides, holiday lights and hot chocolate and cookies at Canton Presbyterian Church.
9) The professional fire performance company Fire Magick will perform on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Arts on the Square, 52 Public Square, to raise money for a trip to India to perform at TechFest 2014. Monetary donations will be accepted and artwork or jewelry will be auctioned as well. Arts on the Square will also be participating in Small Business Saturday through an arts sale from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, during which you can pop balloons for chances to win 5, 10 or 15 percent off art. Visit the Arts Council’s Facebook page for more information. Find a list of all businesses participating in Small Business Saturday and other deals here.
10) Another shopping venue is the “All I Want for Christmas…” holiday craft fair at the Clayton Municipal Building on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event features face painting, activities for children, raffles and gift baskets, and benefits volunteer fireman Randy Bourcy, who is in need of a kidney transplant. Contact Kim Sherman at 777-1495 for more information.
1) It may be pre-Thanksgiving, but the holiday shopping season appears to be more or less in full swing. There are a variety of excellent fairs this weekend that will offer you the chance to get started, or at least to get a glimpse of what’s out there.
In Sackets Harbor, there will be an arts and crafts member holiday sale featuring a variety of handcrafted gifts and art on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Arts Association of Northern New York, 119 W. Main St. Admission is free.
North Country Crafters is sponsoring A Handmade Christmas holiday craft show on Saturday at the Bruce M. Wright Memorial Conference Center, 1291 Faichney Drive, in Watertown. Admission is free, but donations of non-perishable food items will be accepted for the Watertown Urban Mission.
Redwood Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary will also sponsor a craft fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Redwood Fire Department, 43676 Stine Road. The event includes crafts, holiday items, raffles and door prizes.
The Zion Episcopal Church Women of Pierrepont Manor will also be sponsoring its annual Christmas bazaar at Mannsville-Manor Fire Hall on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be available.
2) Chinese acrobats will descend on Jefferson Community College’s Sturtz Theater tonight at 7 p.m. as part of the college’s Cultural Arts Series. The high-energy acrobatic performance will also include narration of Chinese cultures and customs and will be accompanied by an interpreter. Admission is free. Call the JCC Student Activities office at 786-2431 for more information.
3) Don’t miss Watertown High School’s production of Anything Goes, which opened last night. Performances tonight continue tonight and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the high school, 1335 Washington St. The school’s renowned Select Choir, led by school music director Russell J. Faunce, is staging the production of the Cole Porter classic. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.
4) Sample some of the best of north country restaurants at A Sample of Dining Out on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bruce M. Wright Conference Center, 1291 Faichney Drive. Various participating restaurants in the Dining Out program sponsored by the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Jefferson County. The event also includes wine tastings, face painting and door prizes. Admission is free and samples tickets are available at the door: 12 tickets for a donation of $12 or pre-sale 12 tickets for $1 at the association office, 321 Prospect St. The event benefits the Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired.
5) Coyote Moon Vineyards in Clayton will be sponsoring a Ladies’ Day Out on Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. Vendors at the event include ThirtyOne, Origami Owl Specialty Teas, Holidays Under Glass by Barb, Tastefully Simple, Mini Massages by Erica, Gold Canyon Candles and Wood & Co. The event also includes raffles and special guest chef Christian Ives’ food demonstrations.
Also going on: While it isn’t happening this weekend, this was worthy of an exception. A new event that will be running throughout the winter in the north country is Splatter, which is essentially a giant wine and painting party. The gathering will be held on Monday, Nov. 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Paddock Club in Watertown. For $37 (for the general public), you get one martini, all materials and personalized painting instruction. Grab a friend or just your adventurous spirit for a relaxing evening that will allow you to unwind, meet some new people and get back in touch with the creative side you may have been out of touch with since fourth grade or so. You can register for the event online here or at any YMCA location or at Arts on the Square, 52 Public Square.
1) Get a jump on your holiday shopping at Jefferson County Historical Society’s 21st annual Holiday Victorian Faire from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Historical Society museum, 228 Washington St. The event includes a wine and cheese reception tonight from 4 to 7 p.m., vendors selling handmade jewelry, crafts, paintings, antiques and photographs, homemade baked goods, hot mulled cider and other lunch items. Admission to the event is $5 for adults; $4 for historical society members or members of the military; and free for children 17 and younger. Call the museum at 782-3491 for more information.
2) A great opportunity to sample some culinary delights at a reasonable price is South Jeff Taste of the Town from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Adams Fire Hall, 4 N. Main St. Food will be prepared by some of Six Town’s best chefs. The event, which also includes live music, raffles and wine samplings, is sponsored by the South Jeff Chamber of Commerce and hosted by the Adams Revitalization Committee. Admission is $15 and benefits the Adams Volunteer Fire Department and the South Jeff Rescue Squad. Visit www.southjeffchamber.org for more information.
3) A Touch of Grace, 440 Coffeen St., will host its inaugural fall fashion show to benefit the local Children’s Miracle Network affiliate on Sunday at 1 p.m. About 40 models will showcase a variety of holiday and formal fashions, many of which could be worn during this winter’s parent-child dance, the Sugar Plum Ball. The store will show off short and long gowns for girls and young women. There is no admission charge, but a donation will be requested at the door. There will also be a 50-50 raffle and various prizes, including gift certificates to Corleone Limousine, Cabana Bay Tanning and A Touch of Grace, as well as entertainment by Patrick Fleming, also known as DJ Shamrock. Two gowns will be given away. Visit www.atouchofgrace.net to view a selection of gowns in the show.
4) Holy Family Church will host a cross-denominational concert to benefit the Watertown Urban Mission on Friday at 7 p.m. at the church, 129 Winthrop St. The concert will feature Agape Ringers, Noah Landers, Joanna Capone, Faith Fellowship Worship Team, Ed Kemp, Patty Lemieux, Stage Notes ensemble and New Life Christian Church Lift Band. There will be a free will offering. For more information, call 782-8440.
5) Another great option for getting a jump on holiday shopping is Canton’s annual Holiday Rummage Sale, which takes place today from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today and 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. The Friday and Saturday sale will include clothing, home goods, toys, housewares, books, holiday apparel and decorations donated by community members. Money raised at the sale benefits the Morley Library Association. After 10 a.m. Saturday, shoppers will be able to fill a bag for $1.
Also going on: Flower Memorial Library in Watertown will host International Games Day on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the community room. All ages are invited to play video, board and card games. The event will also be held at Morley Library in Canton from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The event is free and no registration is required.
- The First United Methodist Church in Gouverneur, 34 Grove St., will hold its Annual Harvest Bazaar today from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event will include baked goods, holiday decorations, crafts, a rummage sale, kit and crochet items. Desserts will be provided by United Methodist Women. There will also be a luncheon of soup, a sandwich, a beverage and strawberry shortcake for $6. Call 287-2440 for more information.
- CORC Thrift Store, at 8 Willow St., Potsdam, will hold a 25 cent sale today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- All Saints Church, 27396 Madison St., Chaumont, will host a Christmas Bazaar Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring raffles, Christmas music, pies, soup, deli sandwiches, hot dogs and more.
- First Presbyterian Church, 7707 N. State St. in Lowville, will host a Holiday Bazaar Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to benefit the church and its artisans. The event features holiday decorations, crafts, collectibles, a bake sale, morning coffee and pastries and lunch at the Corner Cafe from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.preslow.org.
- New Hope Community Church at 33 Grant St., Potsdam, will host its Fifth Annual Ten Thousand Villages fair trade craft sale on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to benefit artisans in third-world countries.
- St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Sackets Harbor, 112 E. Main St., will host a holiday vendor and craft fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free with the donation of a food item for Sackets Harbor Central School’s Backpack Program. More information: 646-7074.
- Grace Episcopal Church, 421 State St., Carthage, will host a homemade soup sale on Saturday at 11 a.m. to benefit local ministries. Call 493-0382 for more information.
- There will be a craft fair to benefit Holden Cronk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Chaumont Fire Hall. The event will include raffles, a chicken barbecue, more than 35 crafters, face painting and a food cart. All proceeds will be donated to Holden Cronk, who was involved in a car crash this spring that left him with numerous expensive medical bills. Admission is $1.
2) If you’re looking for something glamorous, Jefferson Community College is hosting the Jefferson Gala on Saturday at 8 p.m. to support the Jefferson Community College Foundation. The Clipper Inn in Clayton will be supplying gourmet hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The evening will also include live music provided by the band Atlas. Attire is black tie optional. Individual tickets are $95 each or $190 per couple. To make a reservation, visit www.sunyjefferson.edu/jefferson-gala or visit the event’s Facebook page.
3) The Copenhagen Central School District’s music department will stage a production of “The Wizard of Oz“ tonight and Saturday in the district’s gymatorium, 3020 Mechanic St. Tickets are only $5. You could also check out Alexandria Central School’s production of “Grease” this weekend, the popular Broadway musical that premiered in 1972. It will be staged tonight and Saturday at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the school, 34 Bolton Ave. Tickets are $6. And in other school production, Case Middle School will put on “Those Fabulous ’40s — A Jazz and World War II Revue,” including songs from the World War II era and a salute to service members and veterans. The revue is tonight at 7 p.m. and 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday in the middle school gym, 1237 Washington St. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students, senior citizens and members of the military.
4) In Potsdam, the Rotary Club will host a wine, beer and food tasting event from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at Elks Lodge, 10 Elm St., to benefit ShelterBox USA, which helps disaster victims find shelter. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased from Potsdam Rotarians or by calling 268-4282.
5) Shop for some quality antiques at an antique show presented by the Thousand Islands Antique Dealers Association on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Liberty Building, 210 Court St. The event, which also includes food, beverages, a 50/50 drawing, raffles and a bake sale, benefits the Northern Regional Center for Independent Living. Admission is $3.
Also going on: Broomball Sundays at the Fairgrounds continue this Sunday from 8 to 9:30 p.m. at the Watertown Municipal Arena at the Fairgrounds. Broomball is a fun sport that people of all ages and talents can play (you don’t even need skates, just a pair of tennis shows and an adventurous spirit). Find out more here.
1) This weekend’s best bet is the 65th annual North Country Fall Art Show, which kicks off tonight with an opening reception of food, music and art from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Dulles State Office Building. The evening features live music by Beautiful Wreck, a performance by Fire Magick, a cash bar and appetizers by Samaritan Catering. Tickets to the reception are $12. A bundled package to the reception and Watertown Lyric Theater’s production of Oliver! the musical will be available for $2 off each event. The musical runs Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. at the State Office Building. Tickets to that event are $15 for general admission, $12 for students, seniors and military, and $10 for children ages nine and younger, and can be purchased in advance at the Arts Council or at Sherwood Florist, 1314 Washington St. The art show, which includes 212 pieces of art across all genres from 67 artists, will be on display at the State Office Building through Saturday, Nov. 16, during which time the public can view it for free during State Office Building hours. Visit www.nnyart.org for more information. Check out some behind the scenes footage of artists setting up their exhibits here.
2) All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church will hold a silent and live auction Saturday at the church, 1330 Gotham St. from 6 to 9 p.m. Donations to the raffle, which benefits the church’s green project to install a solar-powered sign, include a gift certificate for Tug Hill Winery, hair salon tickets, a massage, silk scarves, handmade handbags, antiques, greeting cards, a custom watercolor of your pet, a lawn mower and more. The evening also includes hors d’oeuvres, beverages and the jazz music of Shelly Gael and company. The live auction starts at 7:45. Tickets, which will be available at the door, are $3 per person or $5 per couple. Children 16 and younger are free. Call the church at 788-2742 for more information or visit its Facebook page.
3) The season for celebrating Halloween isn’t over yet. The Clayton Opera House will present the classic favorite Rocky Horror Picture Show at 9 p.m. tonight. This is the first time that the rock and roll classic, the longest running film in history, comes to the Opera House. Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased at the door. The show, which is sponsored by Music for the Mission and Community Broadcasters, benefits the Watertown Urban Mission. Visit the Opera House’s website or call 686-2200 for more information.
4) The Ogdensburg Command Performances will put on Street Beat, a production of urban rhythm using household items for drums and percussion similar to “Stomp,” on Sunday at 7:45 p.m. at the George Hall Auditorium, Ogdensburg Free Academy, 1100 State St. The show features hip-hop moves, break dance acrobatics and African, Cuban, Latin and jazz influences. Tickets run $15 to $37. Call the box office at 393-2625 or visit its website.
5) The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park will hold its Owl 500 Meet & Greet fundraiser Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the zoo. The event, which includes crafts, owl-themed activities and tours of the zoo’s owls, is free with zoo admission. The fundraiser is part of the zoo’s initiative to build several exhibit spaces for owl species found in New York state. More information on the campaign and how to donate can be found here.
1) One of this weekend’s best bets is the second annual Haunted Walk of Sackets Harbor, an hour-long, one-mile spooky walk through some of Sackets Harbor’s best historical and scary sites. Tours will leave every 15 minutes, starting at 6 p.m. and running through 9 p.m. tonight, Saturday and Sunday from the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site. All of the storytellers are adults, and will relay creepy tales based on historic Sackets Harbor events and characters. Sunday night is designated for young children and will include trick-or-treating at the tour stops. Stops on the tour include the Commandant’s House at the battlefield, Pickering-Beach Museum at 501 W. Main St., the former Union Hotel at 401 W. Main St., the Sackets Harbor Bank building, the George Sacket House, the Augustus Sackett Mansion and a “mystery stop.” Cost for adults is $5 and $3 for students. The event is a fundraiser for the Sackets school’s performing and visual arts programs. The school’s Glee Club will also collect donations of food items for the Backpack Club, which provides food for needy families in the district. Check out the event’s Facebook page for more information.
2) On a similar Halloween note, the Black River Valley Club will host a Halloween Bash on Saturday at the club, 131 Washington St., starting at 8:30 p.m. The event will feature a ghost tour revealing the spooky details of the club’s recent paranormal investigation, a costume contest and live music by the acoustic-jam trio Annie in the Water. The event is only open to patrons 21 years of age and older and costs $15. In August, a group of investigators from Paranormal Investigations of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Uini Research conducted an investigation that found that the club is indeed rife with shadowy spirits. Call the club at 788-2300 for more information.
3) If you’re looking for a more family-friendly Halloween option, check out Boo at the Zoo at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The zoo will have Halloween-themed areas for children to collect candy and goodies, as well as crafts, games, music and animal encounters. For zoo members the event is free for adults and $2 for children; for non-members, $8 for adults and $6 for children; and for military $7 for adults and $5 for children. The event also includes a free screening of the new movie Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest presented by WPBS Digital TV on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Thompson Park Zoo community classroom.
4) Don’t miss a spectacular opportunity to stock up on books for the impending winter hibernation period at Flower Memorial Library‘s annual book sale Saturday and Sunday. The sale kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday at the library, 229 Washington St., but there will also be a Book Sale Preview Night from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight during which Friends members can each purchase up to 50 books or other materials (if you’re not a member, you can sign up during the event for $15 for patrons and $10 for seniors). Books a the sale, which is the Friends of the Library’s annual community fundraiser and is used to fund the library’s fiction collection, cost $1 for hardcovers and 50 cents for paperbacks, with some premium, coffee table varieties a bit more. Volunteers have also noted that the sale includes some high-quality paperbacks in a huge variety of genres from self-help to science fiction, so be sure to arrive early for the best pickings. The sale will run during regular library hours.
5) Check out Lowville Middle School’s production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. in the Lowville Academy and Central High School auditorium, 7668 N. State St. Choreography of the kid-friendly, upbeat musical was arranged by Katherine Jay, a third-grade teacher at Lowville Academy and three high-school students will serve as student directors. Admission is just $5.
Also going on: The Potsdam Farmers’ Market in cooperation with the community organization GardenShare will host Pumpkin Fest on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. behind the municipal lot near Ives Park, Potsdam. The event will feature a pumpkin stem ring toss, pumpkin crafts, games, candy, healthy Halloween tips and more than 30 local vendors selling fruits, vegetables, meats and other goods. There will also be a 5K fun run starting and ending at the market location at 9 a.m. Registration is just $6 the day of the race.
Fall colors your wardrobe with a splash of fun this year [Read more...]
From the rugged majesty of the Adirondacks to the labyrinthine depths of the subterranean cave system, the serenity of Lake Ontario’s shores to the quiet whispering of the St. Lawrence River, chances are good that no matter where you stand in Northern New York, breathtaking views or interesting natural formations are just a stone’s throw away. While much of the beauty here is obvious, there are some formations that are not exactly what they seem.
Surface and bottom waters mix seasonally in traditional lakes, delivering oxygen to the bottom, which in turn allows fish and plant life to survive. A meromictic lake is one whose waters do not mix. They are rare, especially in temperate climates like that of New York state. There are only 36 known meromictic lakes in the world. New York state is home to six of them, and three of the six are located just outside of Syracuse in the towns of Fayetteville and DeWitt: Green Lake, Round Lake and Glacier Lake.
Meromictic lakes are Mother Nature’s time capsules. Because their waters do not mix, the sediment along the lake bottom is not disturbed. This undisturbed sediment forms a natural record of environmental and aquatic conditions that often predates recorded history. Not surprisingly, this sediment is of particular interest to geologists and environmental scientists. [Read more...]