Following at two-year courtship, WinterFest mascots Crystal and Chilly tied the knot at a ceremony at the gazebo in Blowing Rock Memorial Park. Jeff Eason photo
Thursday, January 31, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-01-31 10:35:51)
 

Source: The Blowing Rocket

The number of people attending WinterFest events on Saturday was down slightly from the previous year.

Most WinterFest organizers agreed that the problem was not the weather in the High Country, but rather the icy road conditions in places such as Raleigh, Charlotte and Hickory.

Last Friday’s weather was so bad off of the mountain that the WinterFest concert featuring the Harris Brothers had to be canceled because they could not get to Blowing Rock from their home in Caldwell County.

At the WinterFest Polar Plunge on Saturday morning, the event featured approximately 50 people, who jumped into Chetola Lake to help raise funds for charities.

More than 500 people attended the WinterFest Chili Challenge, and although the number of chili cooks competing was down from the past several years, there was enough chili on hand to feed everyone until the event was over.

In the amateur division, Jean Lundy of Statesville came in third place and won $100, Josh Bush of Blowing Rock came in second and won $200 and Kenny Jones won the first prize of $350.

Canyons of the Blue Ridge won the restaurant division and will display the Traveling Chili Challenge Award in its restaurant for next year.

Woodlands won the People’s Choice Award.

WinterFest mascots Chilly and Crystal were married on Saturday in a public ceremony at Blowing Rock Memorial Park. More than 200 gathered to hear Jimmy Crippen officiate the ceremony.

One of the more popular events turned out be the ice carving demonstration by the United States Army Special Operations Command Ice Carving Team. Led by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeff Lein and Master Sgt. Travis Jones, the team created a number of spectacular ice sculptures around the gazebo at Blowing Rock Memorial Park.

The Ice Carving Team also created three “liquor luges” on the veranda of the Green Park. There, attendees of the WinterFest Wine Tasting and Wine Auction were able to purchase shots of their favorite liqueur and watch as the bartender poured the shot through the liquor luge, where it would emerge at the bottom, ice cold. The shots were then poured into shot glasses made out of ice.

All proceeds from the liquor luge benefited the USASOC’s Wounded Warrior Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan once they are back in the United States.

On Sunday, a crowd of dog lovers turned out for the Winter Paws Dog Show at the Blowing Rock School gymnasium.

Proceeds from the event benefitted  the Watauga Humane Society.

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