New Years polar bear plunge at Golden Gardens

Updated: In 20+ MPH winds on a cold, rainy day, dozens of Ballard residents took the plunge at Golden Gardens. And of course, we shot some video:

Sometimes, one photo says at all.

Officially, the water temperature was 49 degrees, and the wind was blowing at full tilt. And some folks, believe it or not, went back for a second plunge.

But most couldn’t wait to get out of the water and stand by the fire.

It wasn’t the only polar bear plunge in Seattle: our friends at the West Seattle Blog videotaped a similar event at Alki today, and over a thousand people made the plunge into Lake Washington at Magnuson Park.

Earlier: Need a little jolt to kick the year off right? Head on down to Golden Gardens at noon on New Years Day for a polar bear plunge. There will be a bon fire, hot chocolate and costumes are encouraged. Some of the events include “Dive For It” and the “Goin’ Long Football Catch” as well as “Ooops, I Forgot My Bathing Suit.” And after the festivities, participants can down a free drink at the Lock & Keel to warm up (5144 Ballard Ave NW.)

We’ll be there snapping photos, and we’ll post them here on My Ballard.

Walgreens robbery suspect arrested

Seattle Police say they’ve arrested a suspect in the armed robbery Tuesday morning at the Ballard Walgreens. Police say the man robbed the pharmacy for prescription drugs and escaped on foot.

The case is similar to a robbery at a Maple Leaf pharmacy on December 21st, and police say they believe the man is responsible for both. They’re also investigating to see if he’s linked to more unsolved cases. (Thanks Artman!)

Mimi Gelato opens on Market Street

The little corner space on Market Street once occupied by Pauline’s Pastry, in the diagonal alley between Azteca and Anchor Tattoo, is home to Ballard’s newest sweet spot – Mimi Gelato.

After a recent trip to San Francisco, the owner’s wife tried some “incredible gelato,” Will tells us. “Needless to say that was the spark that started it all.” When the space at 2315 NW Market came available, they jumped on it.

The small shop sells locally made gelato from locally-purchased ingredients. The gluten-free treats come in many flavors including chocolate, pistachio, panna cotta, hazelnut (nutella), blood orange, pear, pineapple, coffee, wild berry, rice and lemon. Starting next week Will says they’ll have two flavors designed by them: black sesame and matcha (green tea.)

There’s also a bit of local history built into the new spot. “The counter tops and benches in the shop are reclaimed wood from Ballard Kitchen. Sixty or so years ago the kitchen was the Ballard fish market,” Will says.

Mimi Gelato is open Wednesday through Sunday noon to 8 p.m.

Live music on New Year’s Eve in Ballard

Here’s a list of the live music in Ballard for New Year’s Eve. If we don’t get everything here, list them in comments or send us an email:

  • The Tractor Tavern will be celebrating both Manhattan New Year’s Eve and Seattle New Year’s Eve . The Dusty 45s plus Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands will be playing two concerts Thursday night. The first starts at 6:30 p.m., the second at 10 p.m.
  • The Dudley Manlove Quartet will be playing at the Sunset Tavern at 9:30 p.m.
  • The Ian McFeron Band will be playing at Conor Byrne starting at 9 p.m.
  • The theme at Egan’s Ballard Jam House is “New Year’s Around the World.” At 7 p.m. – Le Trio, with Michael Owcharuk (piano/accordion), Nate Omdal (bass) and Mike Dodge (clarinet/tenor sax) will play, followed by Leif Totusek and Mohammed Shaibu at 9 p.m.
  • If you’d rather be the performer, Wingmasters is hosting a karaoke night on New Year’s Eve. (Disclosure: Wingmasters is a sponsor of MyBallard.)
  • Talk with Rep. Carlyle before legislature convenes

    36th District Rep Reuven Carlyle will be hosting four coffee hours around the district on Saturday, January 9 in order to meet with community members before the start of the upcoming legislative session.

    “The Legislature convenes on January 11 and we’re again facing a massive deficit of nearly $3 billion,” Carlyle said in a press release today. “It’s critical that I hear from our community directly about your views, issues, concerns and thoughts on the budget, taxes, education and other important issues. I’m asking people to reach out and share your views so I can better represent you in Olympia during these difficult times.”

    Coffee hour times and locations:

  • Crown Hill: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Caffé Fioré (3125 W 85th St.)
  • Greenwood: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Herkimer (7320 Greenwood Ave. N)
  • Magnolia: 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Serendipity (3222 W McGraw St.)
  • Queen Anne: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Caffé Fioré (224 W Galer St.)
  • Procession for boy who died of cancer

    A few My Ballard and Fremont Universe readers emailed us to ask about a procession of Okanogan Sheriff’s vehicles seen driving east on Market St. at 9:30 this morning. Turns out, it was a caravan escorting the body of 8-year-old Parker Brown — the son of an Okanogan Sheriff’s deputy — who died after a six-year struggle with cancer. The boy’s family along with deputies and police officers from several agencies spanning the state participated in the procession today to bring the boy home from Ballard to Okanogan. A very heartbreaking story.