Polar bear plunges set for Sunday

High temperatures are expected to be in the mid-40s with partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies for the Polar Bear plunges set to kick off 2023 in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

The 35th annual Port Angeles Polar Bear Dip and Ice Bucket Challenge is set for 10 a.m. on Sunday at Hollywood Beach, where people are encouraged to submerge themselves in the waters of Port Angeles Harbor or douse themselves in a bucket of ice water to benefit Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County (VHOCC).

“I expect about 100 people again this year,” organizer Dan Welden said. “During COVID, attendance was down quite a bit, but I think we’ve come out of that.”

While the event has been going on for 35 years, 2023 will be the 11th year it serves as a fundraiser for VHOCC. Participants are encouraged to challenge one another to take the plunge or get doused.

“There’s a bunch that like to do both. I’m not sure which is worse,” Welden said.

Children can challenge parents, students their teachers, employees their employers, and it’s all for a good cause.

Challengers offer a dollar amount for a participant to take a dip. If fulfilled, the challenger donates that amount to VHOCC.

The challenged person also can offer up a dollar amount to avoid dunking themselves in the harbor’s chilly waters.

Participants can donate online at volunteerhospice.org or at the event, where VHOCC will have a booth providing warm beverages, courtesy of Red Lion Hotel, and pastries. T-shirts also will be available to purchase.

Lake Pleasant

The Beaver Plunge is set for 10 a.m. Sunday at the boat launch at Lake Pleasant Community Beach Park.

Sponsored by the Beaver Grocery Store, the event will include a warming tent for before and/or after plunging as well as hot coffee and hot chocolate.


Meanwhile, the 28th annual Nordland Polar Bear Dip is set for noon Sunday.

Participants will jump from the Mystery Bay dock across the street from the general store at 7180 Flagler Road, said Tom Rose, owner of the Nordland General Store and longtime event host.

“It might be a little bigger this year. It never did quit during COVID. We were down to 10 or 12, so it might rebound a little bit,” he said.

“We’ll see how it goes. We have a tree lighting every year and lot of people were at that. So we might have a lot of people at this, a COVID rebound,” Rose said.


Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at brian.bawley@soundpublishing.com.

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