It’s safe to say that Minnesota’s many lakes are finally safe for skating, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and now—just in time for some consistent negative-degree weather—polar plunging.
It’s an annual tradition made for the brave—and foolish, some may say. If there’s one “Minnesota badge” any local or visitor should earn to prove his or her hardiness, this is it.
The Polar Plunge is now in its 16th year, and becoming more successful every year. In 2012 alone, The Plunge raised over $2.8 million for Special Olympics Minnesota athletes. Presented by Minnesota law enforcement, the season starts next weekend, January 26, at the infamous start of these chilly escapades, White Bear Lake (Ramsey Beach, 5050 Lake Avenue N, White Bear Lake, MN 55110).
Participate as a single, pair or group; just don’t forget to dress up. Costumes are not only encouraged, they’re often rewarded.
Each person much raise at least $75 for Special Olympics. Jumps run in various cities through March:
- Jan. 26 – Willmar/Spicer Saulsbury Beach, 151 Lake Ave N, Spicer, MN 56288
- Feb. 2 – Maple Grove Fish Lake Regional Park, 14900 Bass Lake Rd, Maple Grove, MN 55311
- Feb. 2 – St. Peter Hallet’s Pond, 405 West St. Julien St.,St. Peter, MN 56082
- Feb. 9 – Anoka County Crooked Lake, 13180 Crooked Lake Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448
- Feb. 9 – Rochester Foster Arend Park, 4109 E River Road NE, Rochester, MN 55906
- Feb. 16 – Prior Lake Sand Point Beach, 14349 Crest Avenue, Prior Lake, MN 55372
- Feb. 16 – St. Cloud 400 Supper Club, 25958 Lake Rd, St. Cloud, MN 56301
- Feb. 16 – Duluth Lakeside at Canal Park, Canal Park Dr, Duluth, MN 55802
- Feb. 23 – South Metro Crystal Beach, 1100 Crystal Lake Rd E, Burnsville, MN 55306
- Feb. 24 – Alexandria Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center, 2100 Arrowwood Lane NW, Alexandria, MN 56308
- March 2 – Minneapolis Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun, Thomas Ave S and West Calhoun Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55417
- March 2 – Brainerd Breezy Point Resort, 9252 Breezy Point Dr, Breezy Point, MN 56472
- March 9 – Eden Prairie Riley Lake Park, 9180 Riley Lake Rd, Eden Prairie, MN 55347
- March 9 – Mille Lacs Eddy’s Lake Mille Lacs Resort, 41334 Shakopee Lake Rd, Onamia, MN 56359
- March 16 – Grand Rapids Sugar Lake Lodge, 37584 Otis Lane, Grand Rapids, MN 55730
And yes, there’s a supporters section for those who’d prefer to bundle up and watch! And of course, donate to the brave.
Pictured: St. Cloud Polar Bear Plunge 2010, Courtesy of Special Olympics Minnesota