Polar Bear Plunges
Unicoi State Park and Lodge
When: 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31
Where: Unicoi State Park and Lodge, 788 Ga. 356, Helen
Cost: $10 individual, $25 family, $5 parking fee
More info: firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-573-9659
Lake Lanier Olympic Park
Where: Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville
More info: www.lckc.org
Those looking to ring in the new year with a splash will have to wait a few weeks.
The annual Polar Bear Plunge at Lake Lanier has been postponed again this year.
The plunge was delayed last year because of flooding. This year, the opposite has occurred. Dangerously low water levels because of drought have forced the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club to postpone the event until early February.
“We didn’t want to just outright cancel the event,” incoming LCKC President Tracy Barth said. “We wanted to postpone it, because it is a tradition and we want to see that tradition carried on.”
Along with low water levels, Barth said debris sticking up from the water and just below the surface made conditions unsafe for a traditional New Year’s Day jump. This year will be the 20th anniversary of the annual club fundraiser.
Last year, about 75 jumpers dove into the icy cold waters in February, but Barth said the event typically brings in 125 participants. She said many local residents, including Gainesville City Councilman George Wangemann, have participated nearly every year.
Barth said recent rains have helped increase water levels, but the club wants to be sure the levels are safe before confirming a rescheduled date. She said waiting until February will also ensure jumpers get the most out of the experience.
“It’s always colder in February,” she said. “So that makes it a true frigid jump.”
For more information, visit www.lckc.org.
For residents who can’t wait that long, Unicoi State Park and Lodge will have its Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Eve at 788 Ga. 356 in Helen.
The Unicoi plunge will take place at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 31 with a bonfire and hot chocolate to warm up jumpers. Registration is $10 per person or $25 per family along with a $5 parking fee.
To register, email email@example.com or call 800-573-9659.