Thousands trek to WinterFest

Article Published: Feb. 2, 2012 | Modified: Feb. 2, 2012
Thousands trek to WinterFest

Although the snow was a no-show, thousands of visitors came to Blowing Rock for the 14th annual WinterFest.

The four-day event began with WinterFeast at Chetola Resort on Thursday evening and will close with a demonstration by the United States Army Special Forces Ice Carving Team at the Green Park Inn today.

About 1,000 people came to Chetola Lake early Saturday morning to witness the bravery of 96 participants in the annual WinterFest Polar Plunge. This year, for the first time ever, the Polar Plunge benefited a single nonprofit, Wine to Water. A High Country bartender, Doc Hendley, created the charity organization several years ago to raise money to build wells and create water-purification projects in third world countries.

Hendley was the final plunger to leap into the 45-degree lake at Chetola.

Other WinterFest events taking place in Blowing Rock this weekend include a Winter Paws Dog Show, Wine Tasting and Charity Wine Auction at Green Park Inn, Chili Challenge, kids events, hayrides, Ensemble Stage’s Minute to Win It game show, concerts featuring blues and bluegrass artists and much more.

For more photos, see our online galleries at

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