Jan 25, 2013 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
Cristina Jardine believes this year’s Polar Bear Plunge will blow last year’s record out of the water.
“This year we are expecting close to 200 plungers,” said Jardine, chair of 2013 B’ville Big Chill Planning Committee.
Last year’s event drew a record 150 plungers for the chilly dip into the Seneca River raising roughly $27,000 – another record.
The two-day Big Chill event, which will be held this Friday and Saturday, features a new non-plunger category for the Polar Bear Plunge for those who want to fundraise for the event but choose to stay warm on the shore rather than taking the leap. There is also a new, exclusive VIP tent for both plungers and non-plungers, which will have pizza and drinks for fundraising guests as well as a photo booth, donated by Edges Photography, for teams to have fun with.
“[This is] our way of thanking all the people who fundraise for this incredible event,” Jardine said.
By far the main event of the two-day affair, the plunge begins at noon and takes place in waves, so there is a new plunging group to watch approximately every 20 minutes.
“The plunge is really something to witness,” Jardine said. “Teams of people run into the river down a long red carpet in costumes to crazy songs. It’s a lot of fun to watch.”
The break between also gives spectators the opportunity to warm up in the event’s heated tent and to check out the Best in Bowl food competition.
“We will have a greater variety of restaurants in our Best in Bowl food contest including a new dessert category,” Jardine said, adding Tim Horton’s will also be on site offering coffee and free hot chocolate and a chili cook-off will take place between 2 and 3 p.m. in the tent.
While the plunge is always a highlight of the event, there is so much more going on during this two-day affair including the new Viva B’ville, which takes place at 7 p.m. Friday night at the Red Mill Inn.
“[This event] has been revamped to include a little bit of everything – casino games, wine, live music, Speach’s Family Candy Shoppe Chocolates, food from Tabatha’s Family Tree, raffles, prizes and more,” Jardine said. “It has been such a popular event in the past, we have changed it so it is no longer a sit-down event so that more people can attend. We hate having to turn people away, but tickets sell out fast.”
While the afternoon features family-oriented events including children’s activities, Saturday night belongs to the adults – the Poker Bear Express, held from 5 to 9 p.m. at a variety of establishments in downtown Baldwinsville, closes out the two-day event with a grand finale party at Fat Johnny’s.
“The Poker Bear Express is a combination poker game and pub crawl. It’s an easy way to check out different bars in the village of B’ville,” Jardine said. “We are excited to have some new bars participating like Suds Factory River Grill. The Poker Run is a great way to warm up after a long day outside.”
Proceeds from the 2013 B’ville Big Chill benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Central NY Chapter and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central NY.
“Both local charities are active in helping to promote the event and supply the resources to help it grow bigger and better each year,” Jardine said. “The event also benefits the Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce, which essentially means it helps give back to all chamber members. With the money the chamber receives from the Big Chill, we are able to budget for more educational opportunities, networking events, advertising opportunities and offer more resources to our more than 200 members.”
Jardine noted that The Big Chill would not be possible if it weren’t for the support from local business, especially TOPS Friendly Markets, Pathfinder Bank and the Village of Baldwinsville.
“So many organizations donate their time, service and products to help the Big Chill keep our costs down,” Jardine said. “Baldwinsville Heating and Cooling, for example, has donated heat for the main tent every year since the inception of the Big Chill and, seeing that the event keeps growing, it really is an incredible partnership.”
The event was established six years ago in an effort to bring people into downtown Baldwinsville during a typically slow time of year, Jardine said. And it has succeeded as nearly 2,000 people are drawn to the village during the two-day event.
“This is a perfect opportunity for businesses to offer sales and specials to help attract new customers,” Jardine said. “The B’ville Big Chill really has something for everyone.”
There is still time to register for the plunge; visit b-ville.com for more information and to purchase tickets for Viva B’ville and the Saturday night Poker Run. To learn more about the event, like Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce and The Big Chill – Baldwinsville, NY on Facebook.