Plan to take the ‘plunge’
It’s a Minnesota thing. Only here would we willingly jump through a hole in the ice into freezing lakes—for a good cause, of course. Winterama 2016 officially hits the ice on Feb. 6, and the annual Polar Plunge, which helps raise funds for Waterama, is looking for as many brave souls as possible to take on the chilly challenge. Jumpers are asked to shoot for $150 in pledges, and family-friendly costumes and skits are encouraged.
Having made the plunge six times, 2015 Waterama Admiral Ted Hill is a veteran of the event. “Overall, the experience can’t be described as cold—I would say that it defies words,” said Hill. “When you take the plunge it steals the breath from your lungs, and clears your head immediately. Then you surface, swim to the ladder and emerge with a certain sense of satisfaction.”
Though each year’s weather conditions vary, Hill said the great sense of community before and after the Polar Plunge remains a constant. “People gather in their costumes, they compare stories of past jumps, and encourage those who are jumping for the first time,” he said.
The 2016 Waterama brass and royalty will be the first to make the leap at 3:30 p.m., kicking off the Polar Plunge.
Registration is simple. Contact Teresa Jergenson, 2016 Waterama vice commodore, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-634-5619 to receive a pledge form, liability release form and informational letter. Forms, pledge money and a short bio for the Polar Plunge announcer should be turned in by Jan. 28.
Jumpers should be done by 4:30 p.m., just in time to thaw out with friends and family at the Winterama Chili Cook-off at Lakeside.
“I would encourage anyone who has ever wondered about the plunge to try it,” said Hill.
Always a bright spot in Minnesota’s long winter season, the 19th annual Winterama festival is set for Feb. 6, sponsored by Glenwood & Beyond, Glenwood Waterama and the Minnewaska Jaycees. Like years past, the 2016 festival includes fresh, new events as well as time-honored favorites.