A blast of cold air

What: Eat chili, jump into freezing cold water and see ice carved masterpieces at Blowing Rock Winterfest. Opening day, Thursday, Jan. 26, features an array of food from Blowing Rock’s most notable restaurants and a winter ale tasting. Get some free hot chocolate on Friday, huddle around a campfire and hear Beverly "Guitar" Watkins and The King Bees at the Hayes Performing Arts Center. Don’t overdo it; you’ll need your strength for Saturday. A polar bear plunge kicks off the day, followed by a chili cook-off and a wine tasting. Sunday rounds out the weekend with a pancake breakfast, ice carving and the “winter paws” dog show. If it requires mittens and a hat, Winterfest has it.

When: Thursday, Jan 26 through Sunday, Jan. 29. Activities held throughout the day and evening.

Where: Throughout downtown Blowing Rock and nearby locations.

Price: Many events are free. Some charge admission. See website for full list.

Contact: www.blowingrockwinterfest.com.

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