Take a cool dip

The opening of the Whitehall Bigfoot Winter Festival always gets people jumping.

Usually, it’s because they can’t wait to get out of the water.

Once again, those looking to take a mid-winter plunge into Lake Champlain will come together at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15 behind the Cooke Island Arts Center to participate in the Penguin Dip.

“This is our 11th year off and on,” said Marge Mohn, chairman of the Winter Festival Committee. “Jane Gendron does a great job handling the penguin event every year, and she takes the dip every year as well.”

Mohn also has been known to jump into the icy waters, which she said is something that you have to “gear up for.”

“Personally, my goal is to get in as quickly as possible, and then get out as quickly as possible,” she said. “It’s exhilarating. It makes you tingle all over. Your legs tingle, your arms tingle. You turn a nice, bright shade of pink.”

For those who may want to try the event for the first time this year, Mohn said that everyone is encouraged to jump into the waters.

“It’s something that is unique and different,” she said.

As for the rest of the events that will make up the Winter Festival, Mohn said that the committee is prepared for this Sunday.

“We’re all ready,” said Mohn. “We have a great committee that has been very diligent in getting things done. We’re good to go.”

Unless otherwise stated all activities are in Skenesborough Park


8 am-10 a.m.  

Pancake Breakfast –Whitehall Chamber At Skenesborough Fire House


8 am-2 pm      

Kids Ice Fishing Contest


8:45 am          

Opening Ceremony


9 am               

Penguin Dip at Cooke Island Arts Center       


10 am-2 pm    

Taste of the Town-Whitehall Chamber- Skenesborough Fire House


1 pm               

Funny Hat Contest, Skenesborough Fire House


11 am-1 pm      

Art Show-Pavilion-Students & Adults


11 am-1 pm      

Skenesborough Museum Open


11 am- 2 pm     

Wings Clydesdale Carriage Rides


11 am- 2 pm

Iditarod Race, Tug of War, Snow Sculpture Contest, Snow Shoeing, Snowmobile Rides


11 am

Hot Dog Eating Contest


11 am

Pie Eating-Contest


1:00-2:00 pm

Big Foot Contest-Categories Include:

Look a Like

Largest Big Foot

Tallest Big Foot


12:00-4:00 pm

Sledding-at the Whitehall United Methodist Church



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