Fire and Ice WinterFest promises hot and cool events


    By Mary Jo Coulehan
    Special to The SUN
    WinterFest will be held from Jan. 24-26. The theme for this year’s event is Fire and Ice.
    We have over 15 hot air balloon pilots contributing to the fire side of the theme.
    As for ice, we will again host the Penguin Plunge and heartily support the other “cool” events such as the fat tire bike race, the BB gun biathlon, the Sledz on Rez race and, new this year, the Skis and Saddles Skijoring event. What a weekend it will be.
    Start planning now as well to build your sled for the Sledz on Rez race to be held the afternoon of Jan. 25.
    If your organization has people plunging in the river for the Penguin Plunge — also to be held on Jan. 25 — plunge forms are online at the Chamber’s website,
    Get your bikes tuned to enter the bike race on Saturday or tune up your cross-country skis for the BB Gun Biathlon.
    If you are a skier or horse person and want to learn more about how you can participate in the exciting Skis and Saddles Skijoring event, visit This event will take place on Hot Springs Boulevard in the center of all that is happening downtown that weekend.
    Remember that on both Saturday and Sunday mornings, the hot air balloon mass ascension will take place on the west side of town in the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association area near the Rec Center. This time of year, with the snow-capped mountains, there are some stunning photos to be taken.
    There is something for everyone over WinterFest weekend. To find out more, visit