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Prescott Valley's Polar Bear Plunge set for this weekend

People jump in for Prescott Valley's Polar Bear Plunge in 2015. This year's plunge is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7.
Photo by Les Stukenberg.

People jump in for Prescott Valley's Polar Bear Plunge in 2015. This year's plunge is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7.

Even though her toes were cold from the barely above freezing water at Mountain Valley Splash, Jill Buse said she enjoyed last year’s Polar Bear Splash.

“It was fun,” she said. “I’ll probably be warm all day because after being in there, the air feels good.”

The Polar Bear Splash returns once again this year starting at 10 a.m. at Mountain Valley Splash on Saturday, Jan. 7. Every year, the Prescott Valley Parks and Recreation Department works to make sure to bring a fun type of atmosphere to the event, said Community and Outdoors Coordinator Robert Kieren.

As always, the event will kick off with a pancake breakfast, this year provided by Cracker Barrel, Kieran said, stating that following the breakfast will be fun games for the kids to engage in before the ice cream contest, such as Angry Penguins. Fake snow is also a possibility and dependent on dew point, saturation and the temperature, he said.

The average temperature for the last two years has been about 38 degrees, Kieren said.

“Last year it was right around 39 and the year before that it was 33, 34 degrees outside,” he said. “The water is usually somewhere right around 34. Hopefully it’ll be a little colder.”

Kieran said he hopes to get about 250 people out to the event with 20 to 40 taking part in the splash itself. Those looking to take the plunge need to be at least 18 years old, Kieren said.

An entirely free event, the Polar Bear Splash includes the pancake breakfast and ice cream eating contest along with the Ice Princess contest and rubber duck race prior to the splash. It’s an entirely family oriented event, Kieren said

“That community atmosphere is really what gets people out there. Obviously it’s a lot of fun for right after the holidays, a great way to have a good time with the family if you have any family still in town from the holidays,” he said. “We have one group of people that have been coming out for the last seven years, I believe. They do a big road trip around the coast, we’re one of those stops.”

Last year, Chris Skoczylas won the Ice Princess Contest, which seeks the hairiest man. A defense of the title will most likely happen this year, Skoczylas said last year. Kieren said he hopes to have a defense of the title, too.

“We get a lot of returners for our ice princess,” he said. “It’s a very nice designation. A lot of prestige right there.”

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