CAPITAL REGION – Extremely cold weather hitting the Greater Capital Region is causing officials to urge caution for people still looking to participate in upcoming activities Friday and Saturday, while some events have been rescheduled.
The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning from Friday through midday Saturday.
Temperatures are expected to get blistering cold with temperatures getting as low as -30 to -35 degrees Friday evening and remaining frigid Saturday morning, but resign throughout the day.
Temperatures should be back in the 30s for Sunday.
“It’s a pretty quick shock, but it is some really cold air we’re looking at,” meteorologist Dan Thompson said.
Amsterdam officials announced Friday that Winterfest would be rescheduled to Feb. 11 from noon to 4 p.m. due to the weather. The festival, which features music, s’mores to go, hot chocolate and skate rentals was originally scheduled to be held Saturday in Veterans Park.
However, many other events are still taking place.
In the historic Stockade District in Schenectady people will still be celebrating Heritage Weekend, said Suzanne Unger, the Stockade Association President.
However, she said instead of doing a walk tour in the Stockade and lighting luminaires the First Reformed Church will do a presentation at the Stockade Inn.
Everything else will remain the same, she said.
“We’re going to tough it out,” she said.
The Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association and Rebuilding Together Saratoga County are still holding their 8th annual Chocolate Fest from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.
“We’re no strangers to cold weather in upstate New York, so bundle up, wear layers,” said Dana Womer, the executive administrator of the association.
“You’re walking outside but there’s not a lot of hanging out outside.”
She said all of the locations that are participating in the event have food inside. Some are also offering hot beverages like tea or hot chocolate, she said. She also said the businesses are making space inside if people need to warm up.
She said that the festival has taken place before when there were similar temperatures and people still came out.
“It might not be oversold or anything like that, but I think people will still come out,” she said.
As of Wednesday afternoon organizers for the Lake George Winter Carnival are still moving forward with their event, but encouraging people to “protect against the elements,” said Amanda Metzger, the marketing director for the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce.
She said people should wear boots, insulated gloves, hat, a good winter coat and any other item that will keep them warm. She said there are many stores in the area that sell those items.
“Also, we’d encourage people to go into the many shops and restaurants open in Lake George to warm up between events,” she said. “Lake George Winter Carnival organizers have been more creative than ever this year and added several events including some that are indoors like the story time at the Caldwell Public Library in Lake George and the Paint & Sip on Sundays at Blue Thirty-Two.”
Metzger said Ice Castles is also still holding its free preview for the Polar Pub and Mystic Light Walk on Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The winter carnival in Saranac Lake is also still on, with events kicking off Saturday.
“We don’t cancel a winter carnival for the sake of winter,” said Jeffrey Branch, the president of the Saranac Lake Winter Festival.
He said this weekend’s temperatures aren’t even the coldest it’s been when the carnival was going on.
“I think in 2016 it was 50 plus below with the windchill when we held our parade,” he said.
Branch said even with those cold temperatures people still came out.
“It’s amazing people know to bundle up, come out and have fun,” he said.
He said they expect a good amount of business this year. He also said there are indoor activities for people who don’t want to be outside.
Fire officials are also urging caution regarding heating homes in the coming days. The Firefighters Association of the State of New York suggest the following:
- Keep flammable items at least three feet from a heating source
- Maintain a three-foot kid free zone around open fires and space heaters
- Do not heat your home with an oven
- Space heating equipment, water heaters and the like should only be installed by qualified professionals
- Portable heaters should be turned off when you’re not in the room or going to sleep
- Always use the specific fuel noted by the manufacturer for fuel-burning space heaters
- Fuel-burning devices should be vented to outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
- A fireplace should include a sturdy screen to prevent sparks and ashes should cool before disposing of them into a metal container. The container should be kept away from your house.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month
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