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Lava Hot Springs annual Fire & Ice Fest returns

This weekend, the annual Fire and Ice Fest in Lava Hot Springs returned for another year.

Even some light rain, winds and chilly temperatures didn’t deter people from coming out for the festival. The festival is one of the biggest fundraisers the Chamber of Commerce puts together.

Saturday was just one of three days filled with events. Saturday morning kicked off with a superhero-themed endurance swim. Contestants had to swim 3,000 yards, or 120 laps. Two girls who swam said they enjoyed it, but it was a little tough.

“It was fun,” said Annika Diaz, endurance swimmer. “It got hard about halfway through because I was tired but I just kept going because why not?”

“It’s really nice just to see how well you can actually do and to challenge yourself,” said Sadie Worthington, another endurance swimmer.

After the endurance swim, the indoor aquatic pool was transformed for a kids’ carnival. It had various games for kids, a climbing wall, basketball hoops and more.

KJ Hawkins, the indoor aquatic center director, said holding these events as part of the festival is good business for them.

“Oh it’s fantastic,” Hawkins said. “Most people don’t know that we’re open all year round. So it’s good to know that they can come all year round and we’ll take care of them and have fun.”

Next on the agenda, things moved from the indoor pool to the river outside for one of the most popular events of the festival – the polar float parade.

Those who dare to brave the cold water take an inner tube and float down it while sporting different costumes. In years past, it’s seen iconic costume such as the Easter Bunny or the entire band KISS. Others who stayed out of the water and on the sidelines had quite the view as the floaters went by.

This year, several different costumes and characters could be sported floating along the river. It included costumes like Batman, Donald Trump, the Super Mario crew and a group of vikings.

The festival continues into Saturday night, with other events, including fire skiers lighting an “L” on the hill. It will run through Sunday, concluding with the running of the bulls. A schedule of events can be found here.

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