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Splashed ice: Third-annual Polar Plunge will chill and thrill in Woodbury

Woodbury Public Safety staff and City Council member Christopher Burns kick off the 2016 Polar Plunge. This year's event, drawing participants from around the east metro, takes place Saturday, Feb. 11. (Bulletin file photo)

Anyone can go swimming when it's 80 degrees and sunny.

But it takes guts to jump into a freezing Minnesota lake in February.

Nearly 500 hardy souls will test the waters Saturday during the third-annual Polar Plunge at Carver Lake Beach in Woodbury.

So far, $57,981 has been pledged by participants, who will jump into the icy waters wearing everything from business suits to speedos. Each plunger must raise a minimum of $75 for

Special Olympics Minnesota. The funds will support the training of 8,200 athletes for the games.

"I did it over in Eden Prairie a couple years ago and it's something you don't forget," said Alyssa Wesley, torch run coordinator for Special Olympics. "The run back to the tent is probably the worst."

Temperatures are expected to reach an unseasonably warm 40 degrees Saturday. But that's unlikely to have much of an effect on the icy waters of Carver Lake.

This year's participants include the Cottage Grove Lions Club. That includes 12 kids from their junior club, the Leos, according to captain Kim Weinert Raymond.

For more information or to register, visit or email

If you go

The Woodbury Plunge will be held at Carver Lake Beach, 3175 Century Ave. S., in Woodbury. The Plunge begins at 1 p.m. Saturday. Day of the Plunge check-in will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Plunge site.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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