LAKE PLACID - Five groups that promote tourism in Lake Placid want the local community to know more about the arts and culture in their backyard. The Tour Lake Placid group has started a monthly evening event, much like Sebring's Destination Downtown, called "1st Friday Tour Lake Placid." From 4 to 8 p.m. on the first Fridays of every month, the five groups that comprise Tour Lake Placid will open their doors for evening visitors and offer special events - from a magic show to art demonstrations. The event will make its debut Sept. 6.
The hope is that other Lake Placid merchants join the bandwagon and make "1st Fridays" a community-wide occasion for local residents, who may not get the opportunity to visit the stores during the day but can on those extended evening hours, said Lee Ann Hinskey, the vice president of advertising for the Caladium Arts & Co-operative. "We are really excited," she said. "We are hoping that people would like to do it on a regular basis." The co-op is one of the stops for the event. The others are: the Lake Placid Train Depot & Museum, the Lake Placid Mural Society, the Lake Placid Art League and Toby's Clown School & Museum. The mural society has an office in the Greater Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce office, and will be open to visitors who want to see a short video on the murals, Hinskey said. Wood carvers will demonstrate their art at the art league, which is located at 127 Dal Hall Blvd. Toby's clowns will host a magic show, face painting for kids and a class on making balloon animals. The co-op will have art demonstrations and will hold its Artist of the Month reception on those Fridays, Hinskey said. The Depot Museum will show a short video on Lake Placid founder Melville Dewey and has new exhibits. Refreshments will be served at the stops, and visitors have the chance to enter a drawing for a gift basket if they visit all the five locations, Hinskey said. "This is an opportunity for the local people to get to know some of the art and culture they have in their community," she said. Her hope is that other merchants join in on the monthly events, along with activities in Stuart Park. "We want to encourage everyone to be open," she added.