Delaware’s Polar Bear Plunge: a sure sign of spring

Delaware’s Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Delaware is Sunday.  Always a sure sign of spring.

In its 20th year for those hardy enough to brave the elements of wintry wind and water,  the Polar Bear Plunge will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. at Rehoboth Beach.  When the plunge started in 1992 there were 78 plungers who raised $7,000.  To date,  the Special Olympics has raised more than $5 million. 

Last year, the scheduled date hit in the midst of a month of consecutive snow storms.  Though the event was moved to early March, that group of plungers was still able to raise $500,000.

This is the third year the city of Rehoboth Beach will host the event.  In addition to the plunge, there are children’s activities set throughout the weekend. While a 5K Plunge to Run is set to go, an ice-sculpting contest has been cancelled because the forecast calls for rain Saturday.

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Another main event for Sunday with be the Polar Bear Cake-off.  Dana Herbert, recently crowned the “Next Great Baker” by TLC, will compete with five other contestants to create a cake that best captures the mood of the plunge.

Herbert spoke on this weekend’s edition of First, seen on WHYY-TV 12 at 5:30 and 10 p.m. Friday. 

Voting for best cake will be done with a $1 donation to the Special Olympics.

The plunge is one of the largest fundraising events in Delaware.  All funds support  year-round programs including sports training, athletic competition and other activities for more than 3,500 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Plungers, beware: The air temperature for Sunday is expected to hover around 40 degrees.  The water temperature on Friday was just 38.

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