Schroon Lake's Spectacular First Night

Fireworks, friends, unseasonably warm weather, good music and a bonfire all contributed to make First Night in Schroon Lake last night a stunning success.

The incredible photo montage by Jim Bohleber (above), captures much of the of excitement from last night. Hundreds of families turned out for the event, which took place at Schroon Lake Central School and The Town Park and Beach.

"I’m gonna give it a 10," event co-chair Sharon Piper told Schroon Laker today.  "We sold around three hundred tickets for the events at the school (the band Loose Connections and a magician were the main events) and there were several hundred more who came out for the luminary walk to the bonfire and the fireworks in the park and at the beach".

Piper praised the dozens of volunteers who joined forces to make this event a success. (See more of Jim's photos after the jump) Among them was artist and life coach Anne Gregson.

"Anne did our face painting for the kids and they were works of art. I’m sure she has a sore hand today.

"Dana Shaughnessy from the town did the bonfire, which was a hit for everyone, especially the teens".

We also heard that Julie Sawyers dyed about 20 pounds of rice six different colors  - and sprayed painted 100 crowns -- for kids arts and crafts projects.

"I’m so grateful for all of the volunteers who helped stage this and all of those who came out."

Piper said last night’s mild weather may have attributed to the large turnout. “We were in the 30s and it was clear. The forecast had me a bit worried as it called for precipitation.”

The First Night Event was revived by the Chamber of Commerce earlier this year. Tony Kostecki, General Director of Seagle Music Colony, was appointed chairman and Piper, from the Schron Lake Bed and Beakfast, his co-chair

"We wanted to do another event in the winter. John Huston suggested First Night. We hadn’t done a First Night since the Bicentenary in 2004.  We thought now was a good time to revive it""

In a move that was criticized by many, the Chamber dropped its support of the Town’s Christmas Celebrations and instead opted to stage the First Night. (An ad hoc group staged this year’s Christmas event.)

"There was criticism that there wasn’t a smooth hand off with the Christmas Celebration," Piper admitted.

Piper said a lot of thought went into the decision making process to do First Night.  "There are more people around for First Night than the Christmas celebration in the first week of December. People are on vacation and second home owners are up here".

“Can you support both events?  We have a limited budget. First Night attracted a lot more people than the Christmas Celebration".