Thursday, January 1, 2015

Polar Bear Plunge 2015

Above: Chris of Lacey, center, took the Polar Bear Plunge today at Long Lake Park.
By Janine Unsoeld

“Do one thing every day that scares you,” a quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, could challenge folks to do a variety of different things. For some, it meant doing the Polar Bear Plunge today at Long Lake Park in Lacey.
“I can’t feel my toes!” a kid exclaimed after taking the New's Year's Day plunge.
Lacey city councilmember Michael Steadman said this was his second time taking the plunge and quickly put on a blue robe.
Hundreds of participants and spectators gathered this afternoon for the 30th annual Polar Bear Plunge, held at Long Lake for the past seven years. Prior to that, the tradition was held at Capitol Lake in Olympia. A note posted on a polar bear sign said the water temperature was 42 degrees. Silly costumes and regalia, hot cocoa and fire pits added to the festivities. Santa and Bigfoot were also in attendance.   
Scantily clad folks weren’t up for much conversation in the 34 degree weather before or after the plunge. Making her way to the water, Paula of Olympia said she had never done it before.
Above: Paula of Olympia was super excited to take the Polar Bear Plunge today.
“I woke up this morning and decided I needed to do something new!” laughed Paula of Olympia with a big smile on her face.
Chris of Lacey said a friend talked him into doing it. Asked after his plunge if he’ll do it again next year, he laughed and said, “No way!” He added that it did change his life. His teeth were audibly chattering.

City of Lacey Parks and Recreation staff, lifeguards, police officers and junior explorers, and Lacey Fire Department #3 ensured everyone's safety, and donations were accepted in support of Lacey’s summer lunch program for kids.

ROXY 94.5 radio announcer Jerry Farmer said that today was the second coldest temperature for the plunge at Long Lake and ice was observed on the edge of the lake when activities started this morning.