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Annual celebration of Fire and Ice takes place in Lava Hot Springs

LAVA HOT SPRINGS, Idaho (KIFI)- Lava Hot springs is hosting their annual celebration of warmth and freeze, as their annual Fire and Ice Festival is taking place Saturday. The day will include a multitude of events for people of all ages to enjoy.

Perhaps the most heralded of the celebration is the Polar Bear costume challenge where people get to dress up as polar bears and then float the nearby river.

Participants of the event were excited at the thought of finding their inner fire in the icy water. "No this is my first time. My partner ice came here, a couple weeks ago and saw the flier for fire and ice festival so we just, decided to come," said Brittnay Wiseman who was dressed as "fire" she added that she was looking forward to some of the other events the festival had going on. "After the water with the toasty, freezing cold. I'm ready for some warm hot springs."

Ann O'Connor came with Wiseman and says they hope to win the competition, "We're going to win the costume contest, first of all. Then we're going to win the quaffing contest. Oh, in between there, we're going to float down the river. So we're just going to enjoy the day."

O'Connor first heard of the event thanks to a long drive from Tucson to Missoula and after taking a rest stop in Lava Hot Springs knew she had to come to the upcoming event. "I found out about this festival and decided that's something that my friend Brittany Fire, or otherwise known as Fire, would be into because she's a costume kind of a person. All I had to do was send her the link and she's in."

Another participant Alex King is a veteran of the event and says he still gets exctited for the float. "Always excited and always excited to hang out with the friends. So it's time to relax and no judgements, good time." He adds that the group he does it with wanted to embrace the 80's while floating the river. "We decided to do some eighties work out, we say, to match all the same costumes. We all got different hair styles."

Leon Beltran after some urging from his family and friends knew this was something that he wanted to do. He says that when it comes to the water he's more than ready. "We all do a little rafting and whatnot so... except for the cold, I'm excited to go into the cold water, and then get into the hot water. Makes it sweeter, you know?"

Beltran dressed up as a tele tubby and says the reason is simple. "I think Teletubbies are just happy that bring that childhood spirit out. So everyone just happens to enjoy it. You know, everyone kind of gets that back, feel, you know, childhood fun, friendly, family fun."

Steve came dressed as Santa, and in true Santa fashion says he heard about the event from his "elves", "This is my first year, my first year. Heard about it from one of my elves, who told me one of them was having a birthday party." He adds that this will become a new tradition for them, "I'll be here every year."

Tony came with is friends dressed as Gargamel from the Smurfs as his friends dressed as the various Smurf characters. He says this is they favorite yearly tradition. "This is five years running for us, so we're out here just as friends having a good time."

He adds that they come for the adventure every year, and when asked if they were ready for it, it was a resounding yes. "We're ready. We're ready to go."

Alex King and his group of 80s workout instructors would take first place in the costume competition with Ann O'Connor and Brittany Wiseman taking second as Fire and Ice.

After the contest it was all about floating the icy river as a large crowd cheered them on.

The party gets started early Saturday morning with events running from 8 am to after 8.30 pm, all are welcome to come and enjoy the fun while embracing the cold and staying warm. Many say they look forward to coming again in another year.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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