We recently attended one of the premier car shows on the East Coast, The Adirondack Nationals, which features a huge mixture of everything from street rods, rat rods, early and late model muscle, and all out race cars. The event takes place in the beautiful scenic town of Lake George, New York, and it always falls on the weekend after Labor Day in September, which this year was September 8th through the 12th. This show was the 23rd year that this event has been around, and draws thousands of people time and time again.
The Adirondack Nationals starts its kick-off party on Thursday evening and all the festivities run until Sunday, it features their huge custom car show that is held at the Fort William Henry grounds that overlooks beautiful Lake George. The annual meet is put on by Albany Rod and Kustoms, that alone is only a small part of what makes this event so great.
During this event the town of Lake George is transformed into a site from the classic Woodward Drive in the 60s, the whole town becomes flooded with thousands of hot rods, and classic cars. There are probably more street rods and muscle cars cruising the streets of Lake George than most large car events draw at anyone time.
To put things in perspective, you have an enormous car show displaying some 2,000 plus examples of America’s best rods and customs in one of the most scenic areas in the country, not to mention a couple hundred examples of Canadian muscle that finds its way to town to attend this event. Later that Saturday night, thousands of street machines pull into town for cruising and all the tourist activities that the Nationals have to offer. Add a over a hundred thousand car enthusiasts and you have the makings of a wild weekend packed full of things to do.
In downtown Lake George, Canada street runs past Fort William Henry Resort where the show is held. Hot rods and classics line this street for two miles in both directions. Every inch of curb is filled; even the parking lots from various hotels. The stores downtown are packed with tourists flocking to shop and just plain check out all the cars that arrived for the weekend. Not into the endless flood of custom vehicles? That’s OK, too. The Adirondack Nationals at Lake George offers many of its visitors plenty to do. From two haunted houses, arcades, restaurants, novelty shops, and several tattoo parlors, you won’t be bored, we guarantee it!
The Adirondack Nationals begins on Thursday night when all the car show registrants attend the kick-off party that takes place at the Fort William Henry Resort. It features food, drinks, and their costume contest, which this years theme was Super Heroes. Everyone has so much fun the night before talking about their travel, what they brought in for the show this year, and everything in between, it’s a blast!
Early Friday, all the registered show cars flood the show ground, and get ready for the many thousands of onlookers to show up. The show features a huge vendors midway, several 50/50 raffles, and a grand prize giveaway for a custom crate engine. Friday’s show is for the spectators, while Saturday is for show participants to get ready for the judges to come around; hoping to win an award in their class.
The awards ceremony takes place late Saturday afternoon behind the Fort William Henry Resort, as the awards are given out, the winners of the big raffle are also named. All winning participants are filmed and get their pictures in the next years publication of the Adirondack Nationals Show book. There is also another show Sunday morning for all the top award winners to compete in for a chance to win another grand prize package.
There are cruises on both Friday and Saturday night for everyone that participates in the show, and the streets of Lake George are closed to only the show cars. The cruise takes a parade lap around the loop that includes a cruise around Lake George, through town and back up Canada Street. The parade of cars cruise the 4 mile loop for 2 hours giving everyone in town a chance to see these cars in action. During this huge display spectators are lined up on both sides of the streets. Many bring food and their favorite lawn chair to sit and watch the cruise.
On Saturday night, following the big cruise, there is an awesome display of fireworks over the lake. With Saturday being the last night of the event, the town is packed, stores are open late, and the cruising continues until the early morning hours for many. This event is definitely one that if given the chance, you should attend. With all that this once a year event has to offer, make sure you book your reservations early as many of the accommodations are booked by January for the following years event. It’s a wild time to be had by all, see you there next year!