ALAMOSA– “Shiver me timbers” may be a good sub-title for this weekend’s 10th annual Rio Frio Ice Fest here as sub-zero temperatures have become a bit of a norm lately.
“The Pirates Life” is the theme of the 2019 event and many of the same activities will return including the popular Rio Frio 5k walk/run on the frozen Rio Grande starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 in Cole Park. Race participants can pick up their packets from 6-8 p.m. Friday at Nestle Toll House Café or starting at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Alamosa Senior Citizens Center.
Opening this year’s festivities will be a Luminaria cross country skiing event at Cattails Golf Course beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.
While some preliminary ice carving will begin downtown on Friday, the first official demonstration will be at 12 p.m. Saturday. The annual faux snowman building contest on Main Street will take place from 12-3 p.m. that day as well as the annual Kiwanis costume contest and character meet and greet will be held from 2-3 p.m. on San Juan Avenue.
Event co-sponsor Alamosa County Local Marketing District will host the annual Grub & Pub downtown from 3-7 p.m. Only a limited number of tickets are available so check in advance at the Alamosa Welcome Center (depot).
The ever popular “Fire in Ice” bonfire is slated for 7 p.m. on San Juan Ave.
Fun continues on Sunday with “fat bike” races on Blanca Vista Park (across from the golf course) at 10 a.m. followed by the polar plunge and ice carousel at 11 a.m., also at Blanca Vista Park.
Participants in the “fat bike” race may enter on Sunday by paying the $10 registration fee that covers the use of a bike from Kristi Mountain Sports, or register at www.alamosarec.org. Heats of five racers will take place on a groomed trail at Blanca Vista Park.
Other sponsors of the Rio Frio Ice Fest are the City of Alamosa Parks and Recreation and Alamosa County Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about the 2019 Rio Frio Ice Festival, please visit www.riofrioice.com or call the Alamosa Family Recreation Center at (719) 589-2105. For more information about the street closure, call the City of Alamosa Public Works Department at (719) 589-6631.