• 70°

Second annual New Years Day Polar Plunge held at Lake Lure

With the new year comes the return of Lake Lures New Years Day Polar Plunge. Plunger registration is underway to be freezin for a reason the plunge is a fundraiser to keep others warm.

Event gates will open at 11 a.m. on January 1 at the Lake Lure gazebo, across the street from the 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa. Here, at high noon, plungers will again take the big, cold dive.

There is no entrance fee for spectators. Plunger registration fee proceeds will go to Yokefellow a local agency which helps pay power bills for families in need; another portion will go to local fire and rescue.

It is the only known New Years Day Plunge in North Carolina. If you are coming from out of town, area accommodations have special New Years Eve/Polar Plunge packages.

Hot drinks, food and bonfires will be at both the primary plunge site at the Lake Lure gazebo and also at the post-plunge awards party at the Geneva Hotels Tiki Bar on the Rocky Broad River.

The Geneva was home to last years inaugural plunge, when hundreds turned out to either plunge or to watch those who did. The plunge and post-plunge party sites are on the same street, only 1.69 miles apart.

The New Years Polar Plunge was so popular last year that the decision was made to move the main event of plunge day to the Lake Lure Gazebo, where theres more room to accommodate all the plungers and spectators, said Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority Acting Executive Director Michelle Whitaker. But there will still be lots of action again at Genevas Tiki Bar on the Rocky Broad River. Its home of the original plunge and it will now be host not only to the post-plunge awards party, but also to a new event: extreme plunging.

I took the Plunge hoodies and return plunger patches will be given out at the post-plunge awards ceremony at the Geneva. Plunge awards will be given for the Best Costume, Most Team Spirit and Furthest Traveled.

The community has really rallied behind this event. It is now sponsored by the Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber of Commerce, and lots of groups and businesses are coming together to make it happen, says Whitaker. The Geneva Hotel, the Lake Lure Inn and many other businesses and individuals should be applauded for their efforts for a good cause.

Pre-registration is recommended. For more information, registration, hotel packages and links to video from last years plunge, go to www.newyearspolarplunge.com or call 828-625-2725 or 828-625-4121.