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Jump in to some cool events: Freeze Fest 2013

FOCUS file photo Four women dressed up in Mardi Gras costumes take the icy leap at last year's Freezin' for a Reason polar plunge.

It's that time once again to be bold and get cold, at Perham's fourth annual Freeze Fest.

Several events will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, including the 'big event' of the day - the Freezin' for a Reason polar plunge.

At press time it was too soon to predict what the weather might be like that day, but the average temperature in Perham on Feb. 9 has historically been anywhere from 19 degrees to three below.

No matter what, the plunge will go on.

"We jump whether it's 20 above or 20 below," said Jill Shipman, director of Kinship of the Perham Area.

All proceeds from the plunge go to Kinship, an organization known for its child-adult mentoring program and other projects and events that benefit local children.

While organizers of the plunge never know for sure how many jumpers they'll have until the day of the event, Shipman said she's expecting a good turnout similar to years' past. She said United Community Bank was planning to send a record 20 jumpers this year.

Each participant raises at least $50 in pledges before taking the plunge.

As in the past, people will be getting dressed up for the occasion. The event's popular costume contest always results in creative getups, from the Coneheads to Superman and everything in between. The top three winners receive cash prizes.

"The costume contest is always my favorite part," said Shipman. "It's so much fun to see what people come up with."

There will be three hot tubs and a warming house on site for the jumpers. Participants may want to wear some sort of shoes to keep their feet from sticking to the ice.

Registration starts at 9 a.m., with the jump starting at 1 p.m. at Zorbaz on Little Pine Lake.

To get people warmed up, the Perham Lions will be serving a pancake breakfast at Zorbaz that morning from 7-11 a.m.

After the plunge, the party will continue until 3:30 p.m. with food and raffles at Zorbaz. Tickets for the party are $20; that covers the cost of pizza, brats, beer and pop, as well as an entry into the prize raffle.

Prizes this year will include a snow blower, iPad, ultimate makeover, woman's necklace and auto package. A gun raffle and "barrel o' booze" raffle will also be going on.

In addition to the Freezin' for a Reason polar plunge, other popular events will be back for this year's Freeze Fest, as well.

The annual Freeze Your Face 5K Race will start at 9 a.m. that Saturday, with registration beginning one hour prior at the Perham Area Community Center. Runners may also register online, and view a map of the route, at

For anglers, there will be a fishing derby at Zorbaz from 9 a.m. to noon. Check-in time is 8 a.m. Sponsored by the Perham Sportsman's Club, the derby is a family-friendly event that offers lots of prizes for both kids and adults. Top prizes this year will include a fish house, auger and depth finder. There is a minimal cost to register.

There will also be a Hockey Day Feb. 9, with the Perham Area Youth Hockey Association hosting a full day of fun at the hockey rink. Activities will start at noon with youth hockey games, and will end with an adult tournament at 6:30 p.m. Hockey Day is free to spectators; concessions will be sold all day.