Shared from the 9/3/2019 The Daily Gazette eEdition


Light Up The Night shines on Ballston Lake


Left: Carol Gerbing, who helped organize the event, takes photos from her boat as darkness descends.



Above and at top: Neighbors on Ballston Lake participate in the inaugural Light Up The Night event Sunday.



Darlene Ross and Jim Hartle, of Ballston Lake, enjoy a glass of wine on the Gerbings’ boat during the inaugural Light Up The Night on Ballston Lake Sunday.

BALLSTON LAKE -- As dusk fell over a quiet Ballston Lake neighborhood on Sunday evening, Carol Gerbing of Lundy Lane herded her friends and family who were visiting their lake house that night off their dock and on to a boat. They coasted up and down the water as surrounding neighbors all together turned on sets of sparkling lights that had been draped over boats and outdoor gazebos and decks.

For the first ever Light Up The Night event in Ballston Lake, residents of the lakeside community dressed their property with any sort of light source, including bonfires, and turned them all on together when the sun went down.

The event was spearheaded by a small group, Gerbing among them. Gerbing, who has been in the area since 1991, has wanted to start the tradition at the lake for a number of years.

The best place to watch the lights, besides a dock, Gerbing said, would be a boat.

She said that communities on other lakes, including Sacandaga Lake, engage in similar end of summer traditions.

“It was a way to celebrate the end of the season,” she said. ‘It’s a community event.”

Gerbing said she suggested the idea to the Ballston Lake Improvement Association and this year, with the help of some friends, received support from the organization in getting the word out to the community.

The event, she said, simply asks people who live on the lake to have some type of lighting on when the sun goes down, or a campfire, so that passersby, or people who are out on their boats at night, will see a glowing and unified lakeside community.

‘It was a way to celebrate the end of the season. It’s a community event.’
Ballston Lake resident

“We just have a lot of people on our lake who go out on evening cruises,” she said. “This is just so people who go out on evening cruises have something different visually to look at.”

Some people, she said, would shoot off sparklers from their docks, while she strung fairy lights to her deck. She also had a large neon palm tree light front and center in her home’s backyard, a decoration from a home in Florida she didn’t want to leave behind, she said.

Getting on people to participate wasn’t hard, Gerbing said, as many families have bonfires in the evening anyway.

The community is close-knit, she said, with other yearly traditions, such as a Fourth of July parade and a belly-flopping competition on the lake.

“The people who live here, we’re very community-minded,” she said. “I think a lot of people will take part and I’m sure we’ll do something more next year. It’ll sure be a nice way to end the official summer season.”

As Gerbing’s boat made its way down the lake, by neighbors’ homes, she yelled out to them from the water thanking them for participating in the new tradition.

“Light up the lake!” she called to residents who were standing outside of their homes, some tending huge bonfires, others just moving to turn their glowing lights on as the sun went down.

There were at least three homes in a row that were decked out in light displays, including Gerbing’s, while others on the lake were more sporadic. Gerbing predicated that the scattered nature of the lighting had to do with the fact that lake residents only had about five days notice of the event. To raise awareness for the new tradition, Gerbing was taking photos of lit up properties to include in the community newsletter.

“They’ll think about it for next year,” she said, snapping pictures of the lights and waving to neighbors.

‘The people who live here, we’re very community-minded.’
Ballston Lake resident

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