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Winter and ice go hand-in-hand, and it wouldn’t be winter in the Lake George Area without the local ice bars. These beautiful and completely functional bars are cut and carved out of massive blocks of the ice. They draw huge crowds because ice cold drinks served up on a bone-chilling bar is as cool as it gets. The ice bar phenomenon has taken off in the Lake George Area in recent years. There are several major ice bars every winter, and each one is a unique night out on the town.
The Glacier Ice Bar & Lounge
The scene is swanky and elegant at the Sagamore Resort. Men hold their cocktails in winter gloves, and women keep warm in their finest coats and scarves. Everyone is holding an ice cold signature cocktail. It’s called the Glacier Ice Bar and Lounge for a reason: it’s all about ice. The sides of the Sagamore’s outdoor Veranda are lined with love-seats, penguin porters, and cocktail tables, all carved out of ice and backlit. Small groups of couples gather on the love-seats and around cocktail tables, bundled up and enjoying the conversation and brisk air.
The Sagamore’s Ice Bar and Lounge begins as 18,000 pounds of solid ice. Then the ice carver goes to work. Through the use of a chisel, hammer, and chainsaw, these massive blocks of ice are cut, chipped, and chopped into an exquisite ice bar.
The physical ice bar is a thing to behold. It’s the size of the bar at your usual watering hole, standing four feet tall, with stools of covered in sheepskins to keep your behind from freezing. The intricate details in the ice are what stops guests dead in their tracks. The backboard of the bar, where a mirror often hangs, is an iced silhouette of the Sagamore’s iconic bell tower. The footboards are dotted with grape-sized indentations. Rivets in the splash guards recall an actual bar. Bottles of vodka and other spirits are placed with care behind the bar, lit from underneath and glimmering. An “ice luge” carved out of a hunk of ice is poised on the side of the bar, ready for someone to step up for a shot.
The Sagamore's ice bar does exactly what you would expect: it creates a winter wonderland of ice for hundreds to enjoy. The Glacier Ice Bar & Lounge will be serving drinks for the weekends of January 19-21, and January 26-28.
Funky Ice Fest
The Funky Ice Fest at the Adirondack Pub & Brewery is a significantly different affair. While the focus of the Glacier Ice Bar and Lounge is solely on the ice bar, the focus of Funky Ice Fest is spread among several different icy creations. There isn't a funkier event to be found in the entire Lake George Area.
This year’s Funky Ice Fest will be just as interactive as prior years. There are several ice bars for guests to belly-up to, but that's only the beginning of the frozen fun. This year's event features a frozen beer pong table, a functioning ice piano, and other interactive statues. These creations make for a merry atmosphere that is not unlike other events at the Adirondack Pub & Brewery. And when those delicious, Adirondack-inspired beers start to flow, you’re not going to want to leave.
Of course, you can't feel tha funk without food! Enjoy a nostalgic meal from the food-truck before heading back to the bonfires for some rockin' s’mores. And don’t worry, you definitely won’t freeze. Guests can warm their paws at one of the blazing bonfires, or sneak off to the brand-new Funky Lounge, a far-out escape from the cold. The Funky Lounge is the perfect place to sit down for some food-truck grub.
And yes, there will be funk. Funky Ice Fest stars a DJ who will be keeping the party lively with all of those funky hits that you haven’t heard in years. If you have a favorite deep-track buried deep in your basement that is sure to get the whole festival dancing, make sure you bring your dusty old records. Funky Ice Fest’s BYOV (bring your own vinyl) policy makes sure that no groovy funk tune will be missed.
The funky goodness is spread over two weekends, ensuring everyone has their fill. The Adirondack Pub & Brewery’s Funky Ice Fest will be held on January 19-20 and January 26-27.
Winterfest at Erlowest
The Inn at Erlowest’s gorgeous back patio will be the center of the winter festivities. While Winterfest at Erlowest will have a fire bar instead of the typical ice bar, they will still be serving the signature cocktails that make these events a must-attend. Coupled with the fantastic views of Lake George and the distant mountains on the east side of the lake, the patio also has a blazing stone fireplace for when that cocktail gets a little bit too chilly.
After you’ve downed a drink or two, head inside to the ballroom for appetizing offerings from Lake George Area businesses. Executive Chef Adam Padilla will be serving up samples of the Inn at Erlowest’s exquisite cuisine. Local mainstays such as the Adirondack Winery, the Dog Cabin, and Love is on Lake George will showcase their fine products in the ballroom. If you need a quick warm-me-up, a s’more and hot chocolate station will be there to help. Local DJ Andy Pratt will be providing entertainment throughout the evening.
Staying in Glens Falls or Lake George Village? Transportation is available from the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls and from the Courtyard Marriott in Lake George. The shuttles will begin at 1:30pm and will be running throughout the event until 8:30pm.
Winterfest at Erlowest will take place on January 27th, from 2-8 p.m. Admission is free!
Read a write-up on last year's Winterfest at Erlowest!
Winter can be a cold and quiet season, but it doesn’t have to be in the Lake George Area. With remarkable events like these three ice bars, there’s no reason not to check out the Lake George Area. So bundle up, grab your warmest hat and your thickest coat, and give your friends a call. But make it quick! Eventually, these bars are going to melt.