Well, these are certainly excellent choices for Winter Carnival king and queen. While Saranac Lake is full of active volunteers, it would be hard to find two more avid ones than Jeff Branch and Dorothy Metz.
Mr. Branch is probably best known as a village trustee for eight years and a three-time candidate for mayor - signs of devotion to the community's welfare. But who needs to be mayor when you're king?
He's also a coach and league manager in multiple youth sports - signs of commitment to the community's children. He's also one of the more active volunteers for Winter Carnival itself, with the Carnival Committee and the Ice Palace Workers 101 - a sign of devotion to the community's sense of fun. His activity with the Elks and Knights of Columbus show commitment to good works for others, and through St. Bernard's Catholic church and school he has shown an admirable commitment to his faith community.
Left: Jeff Branch is crowned king of the 2014 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Friday night.
Right: Dorothy Metz is escorted down the aisle of the Harrietstown Town Hall auditorium on her way to being crowned queen of the 2014 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Friday night.
(Enterprise photos — Chris Knight)
He's a great family man and just a good guy all around. Especially notable, though, is that he's a hard and enthusiastic worker, and he's been applying that to Saranac Lake events since he was a kid, as his parents did before him. He's all in.
This Carnival, we're proud to call him "your highness."
Speaking of enthusiasm, well - Mrs. Metz has to be one of the village's most enthusiastic and cheerful people, and that's saying a lot.
In the 50 years since she came here from Malone, where she was born and raised, she has embraced Saranac Lake. Despite her white hair, her bubbly personality makes her seem like a teenager.
She applies that positive energy, in part, to help Saranac Lakers who need it most, through the Interfaith Food Pantry, the Community Lunchbox, the Adult Center, Meals on Wheels and, while it was open, the Budget Box thrift shop. She just started as a volunteer at the hospital.
She's also active in many aspects of parish life at St. Bernard's Catholic Church, especially the Catholic Daughters, the Altar and Rosary Society, the Hand Bell Choir and as a eucharistic minister and greeter.
We're sure this "Celtic Carnival" was already going to be extra-special for her, knowing her proud Irish heritage and love of music from the Emerald Isle - she's traveled to many concerts by tenor Danny O'Donnell. But to add a crown to that? We think she's a perfect queen of the Celtic Carnival.
The people who nominated these two wonderful citizens knew what they were doing, and so did the former kings and queens who chose them for this honor. We wish King Jeff and Queen Dorothy a very happy reign, and to everyone else we wish a very happy Carnival.
This is the best time of year for Saranac Lakers, and so far we seem to have perfect weather for it. Please soak in as much of Carnival as you can. We'll see you out there.