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30th Annual Polar Bear Dip is DIY

December 30, 2020 – FYI

The 30th Annual Polar Bear Dip, which would typically take place at the Auke Recreation Area, will not be a group activity this year. Instead, the event website is asking participants to “DIY instead with just your bubble! Please do a dip with just your own household, at a safe time and location.”

With a high tide during the usual dip time, there won’t be sufficient area to properly social distance, the website states, “and we can’t needlessly expose our usual hero paramedic team to that kind of risk (you know they’d come if we asked, so let’s not put them in that position). Instead, do the dip on your own, not at the usual time and place… and download a DIY Certificate of Awesomeness to show the world you’re cool enough to dip and awesome enough to care about other people’s health. Huge thanks! We’ll see you in a year.”

Here’s a little bit of event history, also from the website:

“The first Juneau Polar Bear Dip took place in 1992, when a band of friends wanted an invigorating way to ring in the new year after the perfect day of skiing. Barbara Tomlinson Greening was one of those original founding dippers. She participated in every single Polar Bear Dip for the following nineteen years. [Barbara passed away in 2011.]

“Giving beloved group events a miss like this is an important way to honor and protect immunocompromised people like Barbara; the healthcare workers who kept her alive for 40 years (and us alive during the pandemic); and the paramedics who attend the event each year, just in case, to make sure we’re all safe. This spirit of community and living and renewal is what the Dip is all about.”