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Nemacolin Winterfest promises outdoor, indoor fun

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Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 2:00 am | Updated: 11:47 am, Fri Mar 28, 2014.

Would bragging rights be enough of an inducement to get you to put on your best bathing suit or wacky costume and jump into a pond in the middle of winter?

What if the reward included a free lift ticket and ski rental equipment for a day at a five-star resort?

That’s the offer visitors can take advantage of at the 13th annual Winterfest set for Feb. 8 at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington.

“We have a dock just down the hill from the Sundial Lodge where those participating in our Polar Bear Plunge can jump into our snow-making pond,” said Matt Grobe, director of recreation. “We’ll also have a fire pit going to keep them warm.”

Grobe is also planning another interesting event called the Out Cold Party.

To participate, visitors will be given a mug of Dale’s Pale Ale from Colorado, then asked to ski downhill with the mug in hand. Day pass tickets will be awarded to the person who returns on the lift with the most beer in their mug and to the one who gets down and back up on the lift the fastest. The grand prize of a Mystic Mountain season pass and trophy will go to the person with the combination of the fastest time and the most beer.

Ryan Carmen, golf operations manager at the resort, said the Winterfest event will also include a Polar Bear Golf Classic, which starts at hole nine next to the Sundial Lodge parking lot. Participants are encouraged to bring colored golf balls as the two-hour, nine-hole round will be played with or without snow.

“Our grounds crew will scrape the snow off the greens with shovels so the golfers can putt,” Carmen said. “After that, they’re on their own.”

Early events of Winterfest will begin at 6 a.m. Feb. 8 with radio personalities from WDVE, the X and ESPN 970 broadcasting live from the Sundial Lodge.

Activities for children include snowman building, snow angel painting with food coloring in water bottles, snow putting and a snow ball fight from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 9. Snow tubing and zip-lining will also be available, weather permitting.

Executive chef and vice-president of food and beverage, Brent Wertz said his crew of in-house chefs will carve an ice dragon, an ice bar and ice tables and chairs for display outdoors. About 80 percent of the ice carvings will be up for the Friday evening opening concert by Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers at 9 p.m. in the Sundial Lodge. The remaining ice carving will be created on Saturday as part of a set of live demonstrations.

“One of our chefs, Earl Morse, is a certified ice carver competitor,” Wertz said.

“We’ll also have an ice bar where people can order their favorite drinks, including an ice vodka special.”

This year’s Winterfest will introduce guests to the recently competed Sundial Lodge and display the new amenities housed in the lodge, including its new casual restaurant Apex.

Winterfest will conclude with a concert that features the country sounds of Girlz in Black Hats at 9 p.m. in the Sundial Lodge. There is no cover charge for the concert or the Friday evening performance by Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers.

To register for Winterfest events or for more information, call 724-329-8555 or visit www.nemacolin.com.

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