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Big Chill 2013 - Polar Bear Plunge features new non-plunging group

Polar Bear Plungers bravely take the icy-cold leap into the Seneca River at Mercer Park during last year’s Big Chill event in Baldwinsville. Last year’s Polar Bear Plunge raised $27,000. This year’s event begins at 7 p.m. Friday and continues all day Saturday.

Polar Bear Plungers bravely take the icy-cold leap into the Seneca River at Mercer Park during last year’s Big Chill event in Baldwinsville. Last year’s Polar Bear Plunge raised $27,000. This year’s event begins at 7 p.m. Friday and continues all day Saturday.

— 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.”

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