Cold High Jinks: North Lake Tahoe SnowFest!

A shivery plunge, snowmen-building, and more merriment are on the roster.


SILLY TIMES IN THE SNOW: A surplus of frosty flakes can make for some truly awe-inspiring athletic events and the occasional cute and daring spin around the ice rink. But the rubber meets the road -- or the sled meets the hill, rather -- when outlandish winter lovers compile a mega, and mega cold, roster of fun and strange and lively things to do in the heart of the brrr-iest season. Many of those fun and lively things show up at the annual North Lake Tahoe SnowFest!, which will once again roll out the wintry high jinks from late February into early March.

INCLUDING... the 25th Annual Polar Bear Swim on Saturday, March 1. If you've ever dipped a toe in the perfect alpine lake in the summertime, you know that the water on the first day of March'll prove a mite brisk (thank goodness that hot tubs are provided for the plungers). Other wacky haps that feel more July-August than February-March include an ice cream eating contest and a rib fest. Of course, there are more winter-type doings during the Feb. 28 through March 9 coldstravaganza, including a Mountain Man contest -- large blocks of ice are involved -- and a dog pull and a snow sculpture contest. You won't forget the goosebump-inducing time of year, trust, even with all of the ribs and ice cream and swimming in the lake.

AND YEP... there's a theme, and it is the '80s. Someone is bound to make a "Hot Tub Time Machine" joke, and we hope they do, because seeing people in neon clothing frolicking in the snow is about as discombobulating, and delightful, as all get-out. SnowFest! is free of spirit and frosty of scene, and a fine way to relish winter before it takes its final bow. But will you make the ultimate plunge in the lake? Many hearty types have, dear reader. Many have.

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