The Annual Fort Wayne New Year's Polar Bear Plunge into the frigid waters of the Saint Joseph River is an odd event in that new folks who might be interested in 'taking the plunge' have some difficulty finding information on the start time.
FWOb has become known as something of a resource in this regard as you will see by the referral mentioned in the email reproduced below.
The editor has taken the plunge in 2006, 2007, and 2009. (See prior coverage) So, FWOb feels fairly safe in conveying that the event starts at 2 PM at the boat launch on Harry Baals Dive at Johnny Appleseed/City Utilities Park on the north side of the St. Joe River east of Parnell Avenue.
Probably for liability reasons, there isn't much promotion nor advanced sign up because no one is 'officially' in charge. So,no one promotes it because they want to avoid liability as a 'promoter' and, if they were to step forward, insurance might be a large barrier.
Nonetheless, the Fort Wayne Fire Department is on hand for safety. And the popularity is such that a large crowd gathers whatever the temperatures.
Earlier today, FWOb received this email:
I'm in search of information regarding the Polar Bear Plunge for
1/1/12. A lady at the visitor's bureau gave me your email address and
thought you may have information on the event. I can't find anything
online for the upcoming event. Do you know where/who to go to in
order to get signed up? We are planning to ride in the Chilly
Challenge, and my husband would also like to take part in the plunge.
I would appreciate any information you would be able to guide us to.
Thank you for your time.
FWOb replied by email with the information we supplied above and the email prompted this post.
This is just the first of two Polar Plunges in Fort Wayne. The other benefits Special Olympics of Indiana. The FWOb editor has also done that event twice at the University of Saint Francis. This year, the event moves to Parkview Field. It will be held on February 11, 2012 at noon. You can view the Special Olympics Polar Plunge brochure here or you can register online here.
We're not sure exactly how the plunge will take place at Parkview Field but, before somone asks, rest assured that the corner just excavated for 'The Harrison' will NOT be turned into a 'swimmin' hole' for the event.