Many people across Whatcom County mark the new year with a headlong splash into near-freezing water with festive events at Lake Padden in Bellingham or along the waterfront at Birch Bay.
Both events are free and open to all.
The Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual Polar Bear Plunge from 11 a.m. to noon Sunday on the waterfront along Birch Bay Drive. No registration is necessary, but those who register at birchbaychamber.com/polar-bear-plunge.html will receive an “I Took the Plunge” certificate and hot beverages. Commemorative T-shirts will be available for purchase. For information, call 360-371-5004.
The city of Bellingham sponsors its annual Resolution Run & Padden Polar Dip from 11 a.m. to noon Sunday at Lake Padden Park. It starts at the west entrance with a run/walk around the lake, culminating with the plunge at noon, near the beach and bath house.
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Those who know recommend keeping your shoes on and bringing a big, cozy towel.
No registration is necessary. Food, snacks and coffee will be available, donated by local sponsors. For information, go online to cob.org/events, call Lance Romo at 360-778-7000, or email Romo at firstname.lastname@example.org.