10th Annual Rio Frio Ice Fest: “A Pirate’s Life”

10 th Annual Rio Frio Ice Fest: “A Pirate’s Life”

Jasmyn Brendle

This past weekend, the City of Alamosa held its 10 th annual Ice Fest, this year’s theme being “A
Pirate’s Life.” With all of the recent snow and still freezing temperatures, the Ice Fest this year
included a cross-country skiing luminaria, held at the Cattails Golf Course Friday evening to
start off the Fest. Saturday morning and afternoon, the 5k run on the Riotook place, as well as ice
sculptures ranging from a pirate standing on his chest of treasure with a flag raised high to the
side of a ship with its cannons ready to fire. Many businesses, including Alamosa County, Viaero
Wireless, San Luis Valley Health, and others were featured in the ice carvings as sponsors for the
Ice Fest. The San Luis Brewery held the children’s costume contest, ages 10 and under, as well
as ages 11-13 and 14-18, while snowmen with peg legs, parrot friends and chests full of treasure
awaited to see who would win best in show. Later in the evening, the Icy Bonfire and Grub n’
Pub were also held on Main Street. More than 200 people attended the icy fire, despite the
Alamosa temperatures, and as an added plus, the ice chimney didn’t collapse as it had in
previous years, giving the spectators more than 30 minutes of firey display. Many of the local
businesses participated in the Fest. The Narrow Gauge Book Cooperative held a sale during the
events and The Shop gave out hot chocolate to those who passed by. Sunday morning, at Blanca
Vista Park, the fat tire bike race and the polar plunge/carousel was held. Residents jumped into
the subzero water, many dressed in pirate costumes, while firefighting staff stood by to make
sure there were no serious problems. Children and adults also enjoyed the ice carousel cut from
another section of ice in the lake. Many Alamosa residents have attended the Ice Fest for
multiple years in a row, while others attended for the first time, as was the case with William
Nibarger who had recently moved to Alamosa. “It was really interesting to see how much detail
the artists put into the ice carvings. Some of them really went all out. It was also kind of cool to
see all the local businesses and their fake snowmen. They all came out so differently. Coming
from a larger city, it was cool to see events like this. The whole community participates and has a
good time, even with how ridiculously cold it is.” This upcoming Saturday, there will also be a
free ice skating night at the recreation center in Alamosa from 6-8pm. All ages are welcome to
enjoy a night of skating.

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