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Several plunge into chilly water at Rexburg Snow Fest

Several plunge into chilly water at Rexburg Snow Fest

REXBURG, Idaho - Saturday around 100 people descended on Smith Park in Rexburg for the annual Snow Fest.

Even though there was less snow than in past years, those who came out still found ways to make the most of it.

"Sled hills are more ice than snow. Looking early December it looked pretty promising we'd have a lot of snow out here, but everybody knows we haven't gotten it," said Snow Fest organizer Bob Yeatman.

There was still plenty to do, including ice fishing, sledding and taking horse-drawn carriage rides.

"Try to get people out in the good old winter. Enjoy our polar winters. Get them out of the house for a day and have some fun," said Yeatman.

The Ricks family say they visit the Snow Fest each year.

"We have four kids and it's free. We just wanted an excuse to get our kids out in the cold," said Krystle Ricks.

The biggest attraction was the Polar Bear Plunge. Plungers loaded onto a machine before plunging into 38-degree water.

"We let them get in the pool and then there's a hot tub we got right here they get into to warm themselves right back up," said Yeatman.

Daniel Mansky, a foreign exchange student from Germany, said he didn't want to pass up his opportunity to take the plunge.

"It's very cold, yes. But the coldest part is waiting for--being up there and jumping in," Mansky said.

Participants in the Polar Bear Plunge were required to sign waivers in which they acknowledged the exposure to cold water could lead to lack of consciousness, hypothermia and heart attacks. Not everyone thought it was worth it.

"I don't need to prove my manliness to get in some really cold water," said Barry Ricks.

The city-sponsored event was free to everyone.

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