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Polar Bear Swim is set for Dec. 31.
Jason Smallwood and daughter Bentley, 8, take the plunge into frigid Lake Lanier at the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club during last year’s annual Polar Bear Swim. This year’s event, scheduled for New Year’s Eve, will see a bit warmer temperatures than last year, with highs predicted to be in the low 60s.

Polar Bear Swim

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville

How much: $25 for single jumper; $50 for a family of four; free to watch

More Info:

Most people would associate taking a dip in Lake Lanier with warm summer days. But that’s not the case for the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club and members of the community who plan to participate in the Polar Bear Swim, scheduled for Saturday.

The 15th annual Polar Bear Swim is a New Year’s tradition for the club. Last year’s celebration drew more than 100 people to take a polar plunge, despite rain and temperatures in the 50s.

The event is a fundraiser for LCKC, with proceeds going to benefit the club’s youth programs and other activities.

For those brave enough to take a dive, the rewards are great. Participants will receive an event T-shirt, a bowl of chili and a drink to warm their bones.

Festivities will kick off at 2 p.m. with the ceremonial first jump, which was conducted last year by Gainesville City Councilman George Wangemann.

He gave a bit of insight last year to those wondering how jumpers can stand the frigid waters.

"The body just adjusts to whatever circumstance you’re faced with," said Wangemann, who has participated in the swim for the last decade.

Registration for the Polar Bear Swim is $25 per individual. There is a "family jump" option that allows for up to four members of the immediate family to participate for $50.

For more information and registration forms, visit the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club online at

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