Jan 26, 2011 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
This weekend marks the fourth annual Baldwinsville Big Chill.
“People complain there is nothing to do in the cold weather. This [event] gives them something to do,” said Tony Saraceni, who helps coordinate the Chamber of Commerce event.
Saraceni encourages everyone, including those hibernating for the winter, to get out for the many activities planned for this weekend including a wine, cheese and chocolate event, snowshoe relay races, best in bowl cook-off and, of course, the polar bear plunge.
“Dress for the weather and watch these crazy people jump in a frozen river,” said Saraceni, who has jumped in the frozen river every year since the event began.
In addition to providing entertainment in the chill of winter, proceeds from the event benefit local charities including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities of CNY and The Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce.
A Wine, Cheese and Chocolate event replaces last year’s Casino Night event. Organizers had to change the event because state laws require all casino events to be held at a municipal building.
“We didn’t want to compromise the event moving it from the Red Mill Inn to a municipal building,” Saraceni said, adding they were disappointed about losing the casino event. However, they have Swedish Hill, along with sister companies Goose Watch and Penguin Bay for the Wine, Cheese and Chocolate event, as well as Speach Family Candy Shoppe and Buttercup Cheese.
Held from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday night, the event features wine, cheese and chocolate tastings as well as live entertainment and raffles throughout the evening. For tickets, call 638-0550.
Also new this year is the snowshoe relay race. Beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mercer Park (Baldwinsville), teams of four will each run 250 yards on a snow course. Snow shoes will be provided for participants and those who own snow shoes are welcome to use them. Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.
Get down to the river’s edge for a view of this year’s “polar bears.” The Polar Bear Plunge will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. this Saturday at Mercer Park.
The Best in Bowl Cook-Off returns with tastings beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mercer Park. Sample local dishes from 12 Syracuse-area restaurants featuring dishes you can eat from a bowl.
For those who enjoy poker, there is a Poker Bear Express event from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday Jan. 29. This is a twist on your average bar hop, collect playing cards at any of the five participating Baldwinsville bars (Edgewater Grill, Pizza Man, Sammy Malone’s, Mohegan Manor and Badlands Saloon) to create your best poker hand. The winner will be announced at 9:30 p.m. at the Edgewater Grill where prizes to be awarded (must be present to win).
Saraceni said organizers are aiming for 2,500 participants and attendees overall this year, noting that “Every year, the feedback we get back from the local community is phenomenal.”
Calling all polar bears
There is still time to register for the Polar Bear Plunge. Sign up with a team (minimum of five people) or as an individual (each person must raise a minimum of $100) by calling 638-0550 or by visiting b-ville.com/content/big-chill-weekend. Each team and individual participating in the plunge will receive a designated time slot and heated tents are provided with separate changing area for men and women. Prizes will be awarded to the top fundraising team and top fundraising individual.