Take the Polar Bear Plunge Jan. 1!

Published on Thu, Jan 3, 2008 by ara Nelson

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Take the Polar Bear Plunge Jan. 1!

By Tara Nelson

After 25 years of New Year’s Day plunges, Whatcom County residents are once again invited to dip into the icy waters of Birch Bay on the first day of 2008.

The event is part of the Birch Bay chamber of commerce’s annual Polar Bear Plunge, scheduled for noon on New Year’s Day in front of CJ’s Beach House restaurant on Birch Bay Drive. Registration is $2 or $12 with shirt.

According to local resident Ed O’Grady, it was 1982 when someone dared another to jump in the bay while they were gathered at the former Tideflats Restaurant at 8124 Birch Bay Drive.

The following year a handful more joined in the merriment of the new year, and the tradition continued. Today, the event has grown to include more than 250 average annual participants.

Birch Bay realtor Mike Kent will also supply 450 flares for the fourth annual “Ring of Fire and Hope” celebration on New Year’s Eve, and has organized flare distribution for people to light around the bay.

Flares will be distributed at 6 p.m. in front of CJ’s Beach House. For more information, call the chamber at 360/371-5004.