ALBERT LEA, Minn. (FOX 47) -- People in Minnesota know how to deal with one thing better than anyone.
"Really, Really Cold," exclaims Josie Bolinger.
The Big Freeze in Albert Lea on Saturday was a chance for the community to embrace what makes them unique.
"It's just gotten bigger and bigger every year, and you know it's a midwinter break. It celebrates where we live, and it celebrates a few crazy people who jump in the water," said Albert Lea/Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce member Randy Kehr.
Josie Bolinger is one of those crazies who took a plunge in Fountain Lake, and it was a jump she thought might have been her last.
"I thought I was gonna die!" yells Bolinger.
It was a thought that many other jumpers had too.
"It's like getting hit by a train," said plunger William Brobeck.
Luckily for the brave souls who took home a plunging medal, the event offered ways to warm up like the chili challenge.
"Some that are kind of a Cincinnati chili, a little cinnamon flavor to it, and some that are a real Texas chili that will take the roof of your mouth off," said Kehr.
Less daring residents took part in face painting, enjoyed a relaxing slay ride around the park, or even just looked for others like themselves.
"It's a chance to get the community together and everyone interact," said Brobeck.
Minnesotans may be used to the cold, but a warm community keeps everyone from being frozen.
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