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Hundreds set for 6th annual Golden Gardens Polar Bear Plunge

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on December 31st, 2014

Back in 2009, the New Year’s Day Golden Gardens Polar Bear Plunge kicked off with a few dozen people jumping into the ice cold waters of Puget Sound. Each year the crowd has grown in numbers, with an estimated 300 polar bears taking the plunge on January 1, 2014 (check out the chilly video below).

Tomorrow’s plunge is also expected to attract a record number of polar bears.

The event will kick of at 11 a.m. at Golden Gardens (8498 Seaview Pl NW) and all are welcome to take a dip in the water to officially welcome 2015!

The event was started by local resident Rick Sandvig after he saw the event become successful in Vancouver, Canada.

Polar bears are asked to look for the Lock and Keel banner to meet up with fellow plungers. Organizers remind participants to bring a towel and that costumes are also encouraged.

“We want you to be there! Your neighbors want you there,” says Sandvig.

Are you planning on taking the plunge? Email your photos and videos to

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4 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Mike // Jan 1, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Most of the country, and the ones I’ve done, do Polar Bear Plunges to raise money for Special Olympics. This just looks like trendy hipsterism. Step up your game Sandvig!

  • 2 don // Jan 2, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Hipsterism? If you read the article, you’ll see Sandvig was inspired by the Vancouver plunge, which like most plunges around the world are not attached to any charity.

    Only in the US do people feel the need to piggyback moneymaking onto a social event with their souvenir tshirts and hats (oh and don’t forget the website and the special mobile app!). How about just a celebration of community without sponsors?

  • 3 Lisa // Jan 2, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Hipsterism? There were people of all ages, including lots of kids. It was just a fun event that brought people together. No need to go sour on it.

  • 4 Brittany // Jan 6, 2015 at 11:50 am

    It’s not hipsterism, whatever that means… I’ve done this three years now. It’s just a fun community event bringing together Ballard people from all walks of life to celebrate the new year. I would say judging something because they don’t sell t-shirts for charity is hipsterism.

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