Photo caption: Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Princess Victoria Smith of North Country Community College and Daniel Lablanro of Paul Smith’s College enter the Harrietstown Town Hall auditorium during Friday’s coronation ceremony. (Photo: Mark Kurtz, Saranac Lake Winter Carnival)
NCCC student selected as Winter Carnival Princess
Saranac Lake – With a first name like hers, Victoria Smith was destined to be royalty. Now she’s getting her chance.
The 20-year-old nursing student at North Country Community College was crowned princess of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival on Friday.
“Every little girl’s dream is to be royalty and be a princess,” she said. “Now I get to be a real princess.”
In keeping with Carnival tradition, North Country Community College and Paul Smith’s College select a prince or princess each year to join the event’s royal family. Smith said she became interested in the honor after talking to last year’s prince, Marcus Johnson, and participating in carnival events the last few years. She is the 2016 Winter Carnival Ladies Fry Pan Toss Champion.
“I just love Saranac Lake,” Smith said. “I’ve been involved in carnival the last couple years, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I always thought, ‘Wouldn’t be awesome to be the princess someday?’ So the applications came out and I said, ‘I’m going to do this.’ I went around campus and got people to nominate me.”
“I was pretty excited. I mean, I kind of knew I could get it. I don’t know how many people usually apply for this thing. It’s like a certain personality that would probably want to pursue becoming Winter Carnival princess. My friends always say that if I point toward something I usually get it, and that’s what happened.”
Smith and her counterpart as prince, Daniel Lablanro of Paul Smith’s College, were crowned Friday in front of a packed house in the Harrietstown Town Hall auditorium. Smith then made the rounds over the weekend with King Clyde Baker, Queen Nancy LaBombard and other royalty, visiting the Ice Palace and participating in the Ladies Fry Pan Toss and Ultimate Frisbee, among other events.
A native of Massena, Smith was homeschooled and got her GED at age 16. She is in her third year at NCCC. She started in the fall of 2016 in the Health Sciences program, graduated from the Licensed Practical Nursing program last year and is now working on her RN degree. In addition to her studies at the college, Smith has worked at Aldi in Saranac Lake, as a tutor in the college’s Learning Assistance Center and currently works as an LPN at the Elderwood nursing home in Lake Placid.
Smith has volunteered for numerous groups and organizations. She is a member of the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad, a Salvation Army bell ringer and plays piano at Sunday morning services in the High Peaks Church. She worked at Go Fish, the church’s thrift store, was able to attend mission trips to Uganda and India, participated in Operation Christmas Child and has served the homeless in New York City with Operation Drumstick. Smith is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year colleges, and has received the Barbara Rexilius Award for Nursing and the North Country Community College Foundation Scholarship.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at the college,” she said. “The instructors are really concerned about each student, and they really want to help us grow and mature. I’ve been able to get to know just about every instructor I’ve had. They knew my name. I always felt free to come visit them in their offices.”
After she gets her nursing degree from the college, Smith said she plans to pursue a four-year-degree in nursing. She’s interested in becoming a flight paramedic.
In the meantime, however, she’s enjoying Winter Carnival.
“I plan to be all-in,” Smith said. “I’m excited to go to all the events, pose for pictures with people, and be inspiring to all the little girls in town. I want to be able to tell them that if you set goals, pursue them and have supportive people around you, it’s amazing how much you can do with your life.”
Photo caption: Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Princess Victoria Smith of North Country Community College receives her crown from Archbishop Christine Bell. (Photo: Mark Kurtz, Saranac Lake Winter Carnival)
Photo caption: Carnival’s royalty takes the throne at the Ice Palace. Seated, from left, are King Clyde Baker and Queen Nancy LaBombard. Standing, from left, are Chamberlain Drew Benware, Archbishop Christine Bell and Princess Victoria Smith. (Photo: Mark Kurtz, Saranac Lake Winter Carnival)
Photo caption: Victoria Smith, Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Princess, tosses the disc during the Ultimate Frisbee competition. (Photo: Mark Kurtz, Saranac Lake Winter Carnival)
About North Country Community College: As the only public college located in the Adirondack Park, North Country Community College provides educational, cultural and recreational programming to a 3,500 square mile service area with a population of 90,000. The college maintains three campuses in Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga, New York; an extensive high school-based academic partnership; and online course offerings. North Country Community College is part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system. With 64 unique colleges and universities, SUNY provides learning environments for every type of student, every stage of life, and every kind of passion. For more information, visit www.nccc.edu.