The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports Editor 

Take the Plunge to support Parks and Rec programs


December 27, 2017

file photo

Participants in last year's Polar Plunge storm into the Columbia River on New Year's Day 2017.

There still is time to sign up for one of the New Year's coolest annual traditions. And by coolest, that literally means that you will most likely be colder than you ever have.

The Polar Plunge is set for the 11th straight year on New Year's Day at Maryhill State Park and registration is open until the start of the event at 10 a.m.

On every New Year's Day at 10 a.m. sharp, the brave participants bare the cold temperatures and the freezing water, and take a plunge into the frigid Columbia River.

However, the event is over shortly after it starts so be down at Maryhill at least a few minutes before 10. The event lasts as long as the participants can remain in the 40 degree temperatures of the Columbia River.

Afterwards, hot chocolate and hot tea will be provided by Central Klickitat County Park and Recreation District Manager Lori Anderson.

Registration is set for $10. Participants also can register for $30 which also includes a Polar Plunge T-shirt. Registration forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce building, or online at

Even if you don't want to plunge, donations are more than welcome. Come enjoy some warm drinks while watching the group of plungers start the New Year off in style.

Anderson also encourages plungers to go in as far as they're comfortable and safe with. Come in and get your feet wet or go all out and show your toughness while submerging your entire body in the cold Columbia River.

The Central Klickitat County Park and Recreation District hosts the event, with proceeds from the event benefitting swim lessons, scholarships, upkeep of the district facilities and more.

To get into state parks in Washington, one must own a Discover Pass or pay a fee, but New Year's Day is a free admission day to all state parks in Washington. There will be signs guiding people in the right direction after they pull into the park.

Restrooms and changing rooms will be available and open for participants before and after they plunge and Anderson also will be bringing some extra towels. She advises plungers to bring their own towels and some sandals, an old pair of shoes, or anything to protect your feet.

For more information, visit the Parks and Rec website above, or call the Goldendale Swimming Pool at 773-0506 or 250-0981.


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