Attending Since Beginning, Bill, Carol Waller Remember Cooperstown Carnival Heyday

FROM THE PRINTED PAGES

OF HOMETOWN, FREEMAN’S

Attending Since Beginning,

Bill, Carol Waller Remember

Cooperstown Carnival Heyday

Bill Waller, who is still active in the Cooperstown Winter Carnival – this year, he devised the clues for AllOTSEGO.com’s $500 Medallion Hunt – shows off memorabilia on the site of the early celebrations – atop frozen Otsego Lake. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Editor’s Note: This feature story first appeared in the AllOTSEGO.life section of Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal published last Thursday and Friday.  This year’s 52nd annual carnival ends this evening.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • For AllOTSEGO.life

Cars race on Otsego Lake during an early Winter Carnival.

COOPERSTOWN – If you looked out and saw cars out on Otsego Lake today, you would probably call a tow truck.

But in 1974, when Bill Waller was Cooperstown Winter Carnival chairman, it was all part of the fun.

“We had all sorts of events on the lake – Just as long as the ice was 18-inches thick,” he said.

Back then, chief among the favorite activities was the annual gymkhana, where cars would race through cones across Otsego Lake’s ice.

“When we came up for the first Winter Carnival in 1969, I saw all these cars out on the ice,” said Waller. “I took my car out, but I had the wrong tires on, so I didn’t do very well.

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