By Katie Dobbins
Special to The PREVIEW
WinterFest 2018 will occur on Feb. 3 and 4, and the fun begins Saturday morning, Feb. 3.
Dress warmly as the hot air balloons will take to the skies from the downtown area beginning at about 8 a.m., weather permitting. This picturesque event allows for some stunning photographic opportunities of Pagosa in the winter, with snow-covered mountains and frozen lakes.
Head on over to Falls Creek where the Pagosa Nordic Club is hosting a BB Gun Biathlon with Red Ryder BB guns. No shooting experience is needed. This event is great for all ages. The event is a freestyle ski event in which participants can either classic cross-country ski or skate ski. You may sign up for the citizens 6K course or the competitive 16K course. The KidK will be determined based on the kids that enter. They love this race. Registration and check in from 8 to 8:45 a.m. The race starts at 9 a.m.
Get out your creativity and join the third annual Barkus Parade in downtown Pagosa Springs. Beginning at Town Park at 11 a.m., bring your costumed pet and parade with us. Make a donation to the Humane Society and get a free cup of gumbo. All proceeds go directly to the Humane Society.
The next event will be the Pagosa Mountain Sports Bike Demo and crepe/coffee breakfast. The event will be in Yamaguchi Park at 11 a.m. All proceeds will benefit DUST2. Registration is only $10 to demo fat bikes and full suspension bikes (includes a crepe, too). For those of you who want to hang out and support a good cause, enjoy a crepe/coffee breakfast with a suggested donation of $5. This is a fun activity for the whole family.
The infamous Penguin Plunge takes place at 1 p.m. along the banks of the San Juan river at Davey’s Wave across from the Visitor Center. The Penguin Plunge is for the heartiest souls willing to brave swimming in the frigid San Juan River all to benefit their favorite nonprofit agency.
“Plungers” can download the registration form from the Chamber’s website at www.pagosachamber.com. The form is located under Events and Festivals under 2018 WinterFest. Plungers should start collecting pledges now. Prizes will be awarded for the most money collected, the best costuming and who knows what else. Goody bags will also be given out to the plungers.
Participants will register and jump from the Visitor Center side of the San Juan River. Spectators may watch the event and cheer on the plungers from the Riverwalk. Music and lineup begins at noon and the plunge begins at 1 p.m. The event is fast, furious and funny, so don’t miss the antics.
Continuing with the festivities, the Sledz on Rez Race will take place on Reservoir Hill with registration beginning at 2 p.m. and the races starting at 2:30 p.m. Hosted by the Young Professionals of Pagosa Springs group, this event touts homemade or modified store-bought sleds. You may use skis, snowboards and parts of a manufactured sled as part of your sled; however, a manufactured sled cannot be the entire sled. The range of creativity is endless. Prizes will be given for Best of Show, Best Team and, of course, the Best Crash. Concessions will be available on site. Registration is $10 per sled, day of. This event is fun for spectators and participants alike.
The weekend festivities continue on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. when the hot air balloons take to the air again, but this time from the west side of town, weather permitting.
At 10 a.m., head over to Pagosa Brewing for Winterfest Brunch until 2 p.m.
All events during WinterFest are weather-contingent, so, for the latest information, contact the Chamber of Commerce or “like” us on Facebook, where the latest updates and pictures will be posted.
Plunge into WinterFest, and participate in one of the many fun events happening this weekend.
By Katie Dobbins