OKOBOJI, Iowa | The Polar Plunge didn’t last long (was it too warm?) but other University of Okoboji Winter Games events showed no signs of stopping.
With ice melting (yup, you could feel like you were doing your own polar plunge if you were on it), the middle of the Iowa Great Lakes wasn’t the hot spot Saturday.
Instead, Parks Marina was the place to be -- hopping with all sorts of sports. Kids raced mini-ATVs, dogs pulled sleds, shirtless men attempted football on ice.
Inside a tent, music warmed the soul while drinks fueled the inner fire.
At the Dickinson County Expo building, chocolate in all forms was ready for tasting. Goodies had gluten-free cookie dough truffles that were unbelievable. And my friends who aren’t GF said they loved the Ritz’s chocolate-covered Ritz crackers with peanut butter inside. Lots of cupcakes and cake pops turned up elsewhere. And if you weren’t interested in chocolate (yeah, right), you could browse plenty of vendors – just in case.
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Elsewhere, you could find races, other food tastings, music – you name it.
Although Okoboji is a happening place during the summer, Winter Games hold a special allure, particularly since the celebration seems like one big tailgate party.
The Polar Plunge – usually the one event that brings the most people – was fairly quick, largely because there weren’t a lot of entrants dressed in goofy costumes or jumpers executing interesting maneuvers.
I love the Winter Games – not because I like to be outside – because they represent the ability of Midwesterners to have fun no matter what the weather.
Jeb Bush turned up for a campaign appearance at one of the Okoboji hotels, but he didn’t jump in the lake. Candidates looking for a bump in the polls should have considered it.
If Iowans knew you were serious enough about their state to jump in ice-cold water, they’d be convinced you were ready for the job of president.