10th annual polar plunge planned for New Year’s Day
Organizers with a state Fish & Game Commission cooperative are inviting the public to start 2019 with a trial by ice water next week.
The Pine Creek Polar Bear Plunge will be celebrating “10 Years of Freezing my Hiney in the Piney” at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Valley View Park, 524 Gap St., Valley View. Cost to register is $20; registration starts at noon and advance registration can be done at the Valley View Gun Club.
The cost of registration will cover the plunge as well as a seat at a traditional New Year’s Day porkand-sauerkraut dinner at the club, entertainment by Remy St. Martin of Parrot Beach — a Jimmy Buffett cover band — and a T-shirt with the event logo. Unlike last year, there will be no 5K run due to the bridge on Gap Street being out of commission. There will be a detour to the park from Broad Street.
Led by mascot Pine Creek Pete in his new boat, registrants can walk, run or dive right into the frozen waters of the Pine Creek to benefit the Pine Creek Trout Nursery.
“I can’t believe it’s 10 years already, but it is,” Jim Reed said. “100 percent of the proceeds go to the trout nursery. We recoup probably 75 percent of our operating expenses out of this one event. It really does good, and we get pretty good support, and hopefully it keeps on growing.”
And with that growth, Reed said, comes more imaginative costume choices.
“People get real creative. That seems to be the new thing with the different groups coming in: everybody’s dressed up in different things, everything from new year’s baby to even a guy with a tutu on one time. … It’s becoming a tradition,” Reed said.
Each year the trout nursery gets fingerlings, or juvenile fish, from the Pennsylvania Fish & Game Commission in September, and raises them to maturity. Then, in the spring, the nursery will stock local creeks with the grown fish. More importantly, the group keeps a few thousand of the fish to be used in the Pine Creek Trout Rodeo, where last year around 300 children competed to catch fish and win prizes. The rodeo is set to occur the first Saturday in June, Reed said.
For more information, call Reed at 570-682-3707 or visit 10th Annual Pine Creek Polar Bear Plunge on Facebook.
Ryan Setlock, Barnesville, splashes cold water on Joe Gudinas, Saint Clair, during last year’s Polar Bear Plunge at Valley View Park. This year’s event will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the park.