Polar, Actually

Brave swimmers at last year’s Lake Lure Polar Plunge.

After the warmest Christmas on record across the eastern half of the United States, including what even typically reserved Weather Channel meteorologists called “freakishly above-average” temperatures in the South all December long, nighttime temperatures in WNC on New Year’s Eve will dip ever-so-slightly into the 20s.

For traditionalists taking the annual Lake Lure Polar Plunge on January 1, this is good news — no threat of hypothermia, no glory, as the old saying goes.

Newbies, and the generally less intrepid, can rest assured it’ll be a bright day with highs in the 50s — so, since the lake hasn’t had a chance to experience a major cooldown, the pain factor promises to be fairly low.

The popular event is $20 per person (folks can also register as a team). Proceeds benefit the Hickory Nut Gorge EMS and Lake Lure Fire & Rescue. In recent years, festivities have spiked to include contests (youngest/oldest plunger, best costume, furthest distance traveled to plunge, and Mayor’s Choice).

Friday, January, 1. $20 per entrant — the fee gets you lots of swag, including an event beanie. Registration starts at 10:30am. For more information and to register online, go to www.hickorynutchamber.org.

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