Rio Frio Ice Fest heats up winter weekend

More than 200 spectators braved “frio” temperatures for the annual fire-in-ice bonfire on San Juan Avenue Saturday night. After more that 30 minutes of raging fire it appeared that the tower would not collapse this year, but viewers were treated to a fiery display of color, especially from the ice carvings on top of the tower./Photos by Keith R. Cerny

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Alamosa Mayor Ty Coleman was the final participant in this year’s Rio Frio polar plunge and drew a large crowd with his pirate appropriate attire. He leaped from the plank and cannon-balled into the icy waters below. Alamosa firefighters assisting in the pond were Joe Heredia, left, and Mike Abeyta. 


Five fat bike racers qualified for the men’s final during the Rio Frio Ice Fest’s inaugural event won by Daniel Boyes (far right) in 6:52 on the approximately 1 ½ mile course around Blanca Vista Park in Alamosa. Grantly Showalter (7:30) was second, followed by Erich Schwiesow (8:04), Adam Moore (8:08) and Jonathon Mosar (8:20). Kristi Mountain Sports of Alamosa provided fat bikes for the races.


Andrea Bockman, left, put on a late push to edge out Erin Moore at the finish line of the first-ever Rio Frio Ice Fest fat bike race Sunday at Blanca Vista Park just north of Alamosa. Bockman finished in 8:37, just a second ahead of Moore. Emma Ressor (9:04) was third and Leona Good (9:41) fourth.


Adults and youngsters alike enjoyed the slow rotation of the second annual ice carousel event Sunday during the 10th annual Rio Frio Ice Fest in Alamosa. A small trolling motor propelled the giant circle of ice and water formed on top of the ice if a number of riders congregated on one side.