By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor
Lake George Mayor Bob Blais used his year-end “Annual Report to the Village Taxpayers” to warn that September’s Adirondack Nationals Car Show “has outgrown the confines of the village….
“Eventually we will all have to decide that some events do not fit our area and turn our attention away from greed to safety, peace and tranquility that we so much enjoy.”
The mayor still expresses hope for a solution, writing, “Somehow we all need to balance the events that come to our region that is so popular to make them safe and enjoyable for all.”
Mayor Blais, who notes that the annual report to taxpayers “is paid for and reported by Mayor Robert M. Blais,” elaborated on the car show when we met with him Tuesday morning.
“The impact upon the community is substantial,” he said. “It bring parking problems. It brings noise problems. It brings enforcement problems. It brings crowd control problems. If there’s any event the residents dislike, it’s the car show.
“I meet with the folks from the car show at least six times a year to tweak the different problems. But the Sheriff’s Department is overwhelmed and outnumbered. People come who aren’t part of the car show and egg them on. They sit on the side of the road from 8 in the morning until midnight, trying to get cars to burn out.
“Sooner or later there is going to be a serious mishap.”
He said “a show that size belongs at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, where the cars and cruise and parade and burn out in a controlled area.”
Is it time for the car show to move?
“No…I would be [criticized] by the merchants. That’s the second busiest week of the year after Americade.
“Sooner or later, unfortunately, a car is going to burn out and run into the crowd, and that will be a very sad day for Lake George. I’m going to keep working with them to ensure its safety.
“It’s the Catch 22 of a tourist town that has to put up with events like this. The inconvenience that comes with the car show is enormous. Is it worth it? I will let the citizens decide.”
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