Frigid frolic

10th an­nual po­lar plunge planned for New Year’s Day

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANIEL P. PROSICK COR­RE­SPON­DENT Con­tact the writer: [email protected]­pub­li­can­her­ald.com

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.

ANDY MATSKO / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

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.

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