LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – At the end of March, Bob Blais will end his 52-year run as the mayor of the village of Lake George. In that time, he’s become the longest currently-serving mayor in America – and has turned the village into the tourist economy it is today. The news of his retirement has brought with it over a year of commendations – and on Friday, one more snuck its way through the door.

On Friday morning, Blais appeared at the Warren County Board of Supervisors’ meeting at the county municipal center in Lake George. Board Chairman Kevin Geraghty, supervisor of the town of Warrensburg, proclaimed that St. Patrick will have to scoot over. In Warren County, March 17 is now Mayor Bob Blais Day.

“The mayor’s impact on the village of Lake George and Warren County has been huge,” said Geraghty. “He’s brought in Americade, the Adirondack Nationals Car Show, Ice Castles, the Lake George Winter Carnival and much more.”

Blais took office in 1971, at a time when the village was known for summer revelry with less of the family-friendly atmosphere it would develop. Businesses tended to close their doors as soon as the summer ended. His time with the village has included decades of advocacy for the village as a family tourist destination, making decisions to keep that vision intact – recently including the village’s rejection of recreational marijuana sales.

Geraghty commended Blais for his work on the construction of the lakefront walkway, connecting Shepard Park to the Lake George Steamboat Company and Million Dollar Beach. Other recent capstones of Blais’ career include the opening of Charles R. Wood Festival Commons, and the opening of a new wastewater treatment plant. After 52 years, Blais will not be forgotten – and isn’t likely to disappear just because he’s vacating his storied village office.

“Only one person can get that amount of grant money into the small village of Lake George. Mayor, it’s our pleasure to give you this proclamation on behalf of all you’ve done for Lake George and Warren County. I’m sure we’re going to see you around.”