Community volunteers Tera Arey and Susan Lockyer crowned queens of the 20th Frozen Fire and Lights event
By Jamie Organski
As Susan Lockyer and Tera Arey began to inch closer to retirement age, they yearned for a quieter, scenic, close-knit community. The town of Inlet, with its charm and unmatched camaraderie, was a perfect fit.
The two met while working as New York State Troopers in the Syracuse area, before retiring from the force in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Lockyer said they spent as much time as possible in Inlet camping at the Eighth Lake Campgrounds before purchasing a home on Seventh Lake Road 12 years ago.
Since then, the couple has been immersed in the community, according to Inlet Tourism Director Adele Burnett. In recognition of their service, Arey and Lockyer were named the first co-queens of the 20th Frozen Fire and Lights event that took place Feb. 26.
Lockyer said they were honored and touched when they received the news that they had been chosen, adding that the experience was nothing short of magical.
“Talking with all the kids was so cute. We had a couple kids tell us that they had never met real queens before and another kid asked if we lived in a real castle. Our nickname during the event was ‘Queen Squared.’”
“I am so happy to have Susan and Tera as this year’s Frozen Royalty,” Burnett said. “They have been on my short list [for royalty contenders] for a while and have been a welcome asset to our town. They have been active with the Inlet Area Business Association and volunteer for many of our events.”
Lockyer spent five years working for the Inlet Police Department as a patrol officer, while Arey just began her second four-year term as an Inlet Town Justice. Both women are involved in Inlet’s volunteer ambulance squad; Lockyer as an EMT and Arey as a volunteer driver. A pair of avid golfers and snowmobilers, Arey also serves as the general manager of the Inlet Golf Club while Lockyer works in the pro shop. During their spare time, the couple enjoys hiking and walks with their dogs, Sweet Pea, a black lab, and Rider, a mixed breed.
“We love the community of Inlet,” Lockyer said. “There is nothing like the small town feel and the way everyone looks out for each other and takes care of each other. We feel blessed to have found a great home in such a beautiful community. We like to have fun during the off season and can walk into a restaurant here and everyone knows us and welcomes us with open arms.”
Editor’s note: The earlier version of the headline was “Inlet royalty, for a day.” The story has been updated to add that the recognition from the Frozen Fire and Lights event will continue throughout the year.