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Polar Bear Plunge back on for February after New Year’s Day flooding
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The Parsons family takes the plunge in the cold water Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, at the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club during the 20th annual Polar Bear Plunge. From the left they are Tom, Anna, Victoria and Jim Parsons. - photo by Scott Rogers

The Polar Bear Plunge is coming to Lake Lanier in early February after flooding in late December postponed the event traditionally held Jan. 1.

“It’s all cleaned up,” said Blair Hickerson, president of the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club which organizes the fundraiser for its program. “I was out there yesterday and the water looked beautiful. It still looks very cold, but it’s clean and beautiful.”

The new plunge is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9.

Heavy rain just before New Year’s Day, when the plunge is usually held, flooded Lake Lanier Olympic Park and pushed debris and silt into the area. The flooding forced the club to postpone the event.

“The rain caused flooding in the lake and the water was nearly up to the boat house and you couldn't get up to the docks,” Hickerson said. “There was so much debris in the water it just wasn't safe or feasible to do it.”

The new date was announced on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

The rest of the program is unchanged. The cost for the plunge is $30 for a single jumper and $90 for a family of four. Jumpers will receive a T-shirt and food and drinks will be provided at the park.

There were about 40 people who had pre-registered for the original date of the event and their registration will be honored on the new date. Walk-up registrations will be accepted on the day of the event, too. Even with the rescheduled event, Hickerson is hoping for at least 75 jumpers this year, which would be about 15 more than last year.

With the later plunge in February, the club is pitching the event with a Valentine’s Day theme: “Take the Plunge for the One You Love.”

“We thought we could tie this in with Valentine’s Day and that would be a unique present you could buy your valentine,” Hickerson said, laughing. “Take the plunge in the lake with the one that you love and show how committed you are.”

Registration opens at 10:45 a.m. Feb. 9. Participants should arrive at the park at 11:30 a.m. and jumping begins at noon, according to LCKC.

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