Thursday, December 28, 2017

Chilly Polar Plunges to Celebrate an Adirondack New Year

There are all sorts of New Year’s traditions that are supposed to bring luck and prosperity for the upcoming year. From midnight kisses and fireworks to collard greens and black-eyed peas, countdowns and good wishes are all part of gesturing in the New Year. One tradition my family has volunteered for, but never managed to be a part of, is the annual Polar Plunge. Two such New Year’s Polar Plunge celebrations not only are set to shock any toxins out of the body, but to also benefit local charities.

Long Lake’s annual Long Lakey Polar Plunge is taking place Saturday, December 30, at the Long Lake Town Beach. Teams and individuals are welcome to participate with funds benefiting High Peaks Hospice. To keep the event lighthearted in these icy temperatures, prizes are to be awarded to the team or individual who raise the most funds, have the best costume, perform the best plunge technique, and overall best in show.

Another option for taking a New Year’s dip is the Lake George Polar Plunge, organized by Duffy’s Tavern owners Michael and Linda Duffy. According to co-owner Linda Duffy, they took the annual event over from the Polar Bear Club after the original organizer and club president Charlie Albert passed on.

“Charlie founded the event and ran it alongside the Lake George Winter Carnival,” says Duffy. “It is a great event and we wanted it to continue. Now we’ve been organizing it for over 20 years. We start registration on New Year’s Eve day [December 31] from 11 am to 4 pm and offer colored wristbands for each wave of 400 people. Registration is also offered at 10:30 New Year’s Day [January 1]. Over a thousand people participate each year.”

This year the $10 registration fee for the Lake George Polar Plunge is being raised for the Springfield Shriners Hospital for Children, specifically for rehabilitation services as well as the Lake George Volunteer Fire Department. Special polar plunge tee shirts are available for an additional $10 fee.

“There is snow at the beach so people really need to be prepared,” says Duffy. “They should bring water shoes to protect their feet as well as a towel and robe to dry off once they complete the plunge. People also need dry clothes to change into so they can warm up. Duffy’s Tavern will have an outside fire pit and our deck heaters going. We’ll also have drink specials all day as well as live music. There will be plenty of ways to celebrate.”

So freeze off any bad juju and start fresh in 2018 while helping out High Peaks Hospice, Lake George Volunteer Fire Department, and Shriner’s Children Hospital. Happy New Year!

Lake George Polar Plunge used with permission of Duffy’s Tavern, Lake George. 

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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