Americade, a popular tourist attraction in the Lake George region for nearly 40 years, has been postponed during the COVID-19 crisis, but will be held in 2020.
The event is traditionally held the first full week of June, but will be pushed back until the week of July 21-25, said Americade organizer Christian Dutcher.
“The health of our community and our guests is paramount, but it is our sincere hope that by late July, it will be possible to bring Americade back to Lake George as long as there are no federal, state or local regulations that would preclude it,” Dutcher said. “We will be very sensitive to public health concerns. We will conduct Americade 2020 in a manner that is respectful of the terrible ordeal this pandemic has caused.’’
The 2020 “touchless’’ Americade will emphasize current public safety protocols including social distancing and hand washing and scenic tours rather than large group gatherings. Organizers will comply scrupulously with health and safety guidance and work closely with Warren County Public Health Services.
• The number of people attending the Americade Expo will be restricted to ensure plenty of space between attendees.
• Some events that have historically attracted shoulder-to-shoulder crowds will not be held.
• Attendees will be encouraged to register electronically (instead of in person) and pay remotely.
• Americade 2020 will de-emphasize guided, large-group rides and instead facilitate unguided rides.
• For lunches during rides, participants will be encouraged to choose from a broad selection of restaurants to reduce crowding in any one establishment.
“Americade gives many people the opportunity to get out on the open road, see some of the most scenic and remote places and breathe the fresh air of the Adirondacks,’’ said Dutcher. “So many people have reached out to us and asked us to try to find a way to keep the tradition alive this year.’’
Dutcher noted that July is a busy time in Lake George, so Americade is reaching out to its local hospitality partners to ensure adequate accommodations will be available.
Lake George Mayor Robert Blais welcomed the decision. ‘’Americade’s decision to postpone rather than cancel is a welcome decision for our region’s economy. Our great family resort has the ability to host a wide variety of events successfully and cooperatively. We look forward to working with Americade and blending them into our busy season.”
Sen. Betty Little said Americade “is a tradition that motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the country look forward to each and every year. Canceling the event not only would be a major disappointment, it would be a big financial loss for the region. It is great news that Americade will happen, though a little later in the summer, but no doubt with the same enthusiasm and at a time critical for the recovery of many of our small businesses.”
Lake George Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said the decision was “very good news for Lake George. So many of our small businesses depend on Americade and so many Americaders love coming back to Lake George. Maintaining the continuity of this event is important to everyone.’’
Gina Mintzer, executive director of the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the local community of small, family-owned businesses are appreciative of Americade’s continued support.
“Americaders can count on the warm welcome they’ve come to expect and Lake George’s trademark hospitality, delivered gratefully, cheerfully and at a safe distance,” she said.
“Tourism sales tax revenue is vital to Warren County’s ability to deliver essential services to our people, and Americade is vital to tourism. We are grateful to Americade’s organizers for their commitment to working with us to ensure the event can be conducted in a safe manner in this very challenging year,” said Lake Luzerne Supervisor Gene Merlino, chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors Tourism Committee.
Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce President Michael Bittel said holding Americade 2020 in July will be a “testament to our resilience as a community and an expression of confidence that better days are ahead. Hospitality is what we do here. People are counting on us. We will do this safely and we will do this well.’’
Dutcher said he hopes a “full-throttle” Americade will be possible again in the Summer of 2021.