The Jacksonport Polar Bear Club 23rd Annual Plunge is just around the corner. A new twist has been added to the festivities this year. The Fire Departments of Door County will be working together to provide an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast for the public at the Jacksonport Town Hall. Pancakes will be cooked and served by the “Great Pancake Show” from 8:30 to 11:30 am. They have done numerous pancake breakfasts in Door County and are a big hit with their pancake antics. Profits will benefit all participating fire departments.
The Jacksonport Polar Bear Club first started in Jacksonport in 1986 with one swimmer, J. R. Jarosh. It wasn’t until 1989 that the number tripled from one to three swimmers. The club has seen rapid growth since then and often attracts an estimated 800 swimmers with well over 2000 spectators there to witness the event.
The Jacksonport Polar Bear Club Ltd. brings in the new year with their traditional jump into the icy waters of Lake Michigan every January 1 at 12 noon sharp. The very popular annual Door County event is held at Lakeside Park in downtown Jacksonport which is located 11 miles north of Sturgeon Bay on Hwy. 57, along Door County’s eastern shore.
The festivities will start at 8:30 am on New Year’s Day with the pancake breakfast at the Town Hall on Hwy. V until 11:30 am. A registration table will be set up at Lakeside Park to accommodate all swimmers who must sign a liability release form before participating in the event. Souvenir Polar Bear t-shirts, caps, lapel pins and fleece jackets are offered for sale at the registration tent. Hot beverages will also be available at the registration shelter. The JPBC is a non-profit organization. Funds raised pay the clubs insurance and cost of printed materials. All participants receive a free official JPBC Membership Card and a Certificate of Participation in the annual event. After expenses, funds raised are donated to the Jacksonport Fire Department and Feed My People, a local food pantry. There is no charge to participate but all participants and onlookers are asked to make a donation or bring one non-perishable food item to donate to the the Feed My People van which is on location with their volunteer the day of the event.
The plunge takes place precisely at 12 noon, with the crowd favorite 10 second countdown preceding the massive influx of swimmers into the lake. For more information, contact the club website at www.doorbell.net/pbc, the www.Jacksonport.net Web site or phone 920.823.2288.