The second annual Damsite Day in Elephant Butte, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 17, begins with the Polar Bear Plunge at noon. Last year saw a record number of jumpers and more are expected this year. Plungers will receive a snack and warm beverage after surfacing. The marina has been moved to the actual dam site location and you no longer have to go through Elephant Butte Lake State Park to get to it. Go past the welcome center and follow the signs.
If you’d rather bypass a cold, wet dip in the lake, there’s plenty to see and do at the main area of the historic dam site. Begin by checking out all 40 art and craft vendors set up in the lodge rooms and sidewalk as well as the first eight casitas. Vendors offer, for example, fine art, dot art, photography, baskets, jewelry, fabrics, quilts, soaps, dot art, one-of-a-kind items and more. In the lodge breakroom Truth or Consequences’ Ingo will sell coffees that go beautifully with Serif’s pastries, also in the breakroom. But the food doesn’t stop there. A food court near the welcome center will serve Korean BBQ from Linh’s Noodles, Lou’s Kettle Korn and hot dogs, Outer Edge pizza and desserts and soup from the Geronimo Springs Museum.
The Sierra County Animal Rescue Society and Companion Animal Action Team will sell cookies and offer a drawing. You can win a spay or neuter procedure, baskets of dog and cat goodies and more. Both groups support and promote animal adoptions and spay/neuter clinics. Also on hand will be the Sierra County Rock and Gem Society. Stop by and learn more about their group and its upcoming March show and maybe enroll as a member.
For entertainment, buskers Mario Portillo and Jonathan T. Samos will sing and play guitar; RGee Duo will provide music at the welcome center; and, weather permitting, you can sway along to the grace of the Jewells of the Desert belly dancers from Las Cruces, tap your toes to the Boot Boogie Babes line dancers or watch the square dancing Sierra Twirlers, called by Joey Solis.
Door prizes will be awarded throughout the day, so be sure to drop your name in the kettle in the welcome center.
From T or C, take 3rd street east and follow signs to Dam Site Historic District, Route 177. For more info: 575-894-2073.