B'ville's Big Chill event

Looks like Mother Nature is going to cooperate -- with Baldwinsville's Big Chill plans, that is.

Next Friday and Saturday, the Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce and the village of Baldwinsville will host The Big Chill, a winter celebration for everyone to enjoy.

"It's cold this time of year and we thought, why not have fun with the weather we're dealt," said Baldwinsville's Mayor Joe Saraceni.

The event begins Friday with the Snow Ball, a formal dance, at Mohegan Manor and continues Saturday with various bone-chilling and belly-warming activities. Families can start the morning with breakfast at the First Presbyterian Church at 64 Oswego St., then head to Mercer Park for a bon-fire, a snowman building contest and a chili cook-off, with local restaurants serving up their best renditions of the spicy dish.

The day's activities will come to a climax as people head for the river, either to watch or jump into the icy waters during the polar bear plunge. Numerous participants have been obtaining sponsorships, which will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House, Cystic Fibrosis and the GBCC, to participate in this freezing fun, including Saraceni.

"The Ronald McDonald House is a great organization," Saraceni said. "It's definitely worth the plunge into the cold water."

The mayor said, as a kid, he used to jump in the ice-cold river. This time around, he plans on wearing a Hawaiin shirt and shorts and taking it a bit slower.

After the plunge, everyone can warm up by the bonfire fueled by discarded Christmas trees the village collected and wait for the evening to be topped off with fireworks. Saraceni encourages everyone to take part in the weekend's events and foresees exciting winters in Baldwinsville's future.

"Hopefully this turns into an annual event that gets bigger and better every year," Saraceni said.

For more information about the Snow Ball and other events, call the GBCC at 638-0550.

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