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Polar Bear Plunge set for Saturday at Lake Lanier

GAINESVILLE — Participants young and old can jump in the frigid waters of Lake Lanier on Saturday during the 19th annual Polar Bear Plunge after flooding and debris in the lake postponed the New Year’s Day event.

Beginning at noon, individuals or groups can take the plunge at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road.

“Last year we had about 160,” Lanier Canoe and Kayak club volunteer Chris Potter said. “We hope to have more this year to jump.”

Participants will be divided into two categories: Dare or Scare. Those who “dare” can dive into the water and receive a “I dared” T-shirt. Those who are “scare” will take home an “I scared” T-shirt.

Afterward, all may enjoy a bowl of warm chili and hot cocoa. The chili comes from a cook-off, which is mostly the members of the club, but anyone may cook up a batch.

Registration will begin at 10:45 a.m. Jumpers should be ready by noon.

The cost is $30 for a single jump or $90 for a family jump up to four people. Online registration is at

The event supports Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club’s Olympic legacy program, which helps train paddlers for a chance to compete in the Summer Olympics.

This spring, the venue will play host to the U.S. Olympic Trials, the Canadian Olympic Trials and the Pan American Games.