Celebratingthe season in Birch Bay

Published on Thu, Dec 23, 2004
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Celebrating the season in Birch Bay

It’s that time again – time for all those gutsy people to take leave of their senses and plunge into the cold, cold waters of Birch Bay in the winter.
This year, the Polar Bear Swim remains a costumed (or not) dash into, and out of, the bay, with some logistical changes.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. in the TrendWest breezeway. Cost is $2, which includes a certificate and wristband for free beverages. Optional $10 registration includes a souvenir t-shirt, wristband and certificate.

Judging with be at 11:30 and the plunge is at noon. Award certificates will be distributed to: Oldest participant, youngest participant, best group, funniest costume, crowd favorite, and best dressed. Due to safety precautions, there is no award for length of time in the water.

Participants can pre-register at Bank Northwest in Birch Bay or Curves in Blaine. Email info@birchbaychamber.com or call the chamber phone at 371-5004.

49th Parallel Dixieland Jazz Band, sponsored by BP Cherry Point Refinery, will be performing inside the Blue Fish restaurant immediately following the plunge. Join in for a mellow afternoon of fellowship and warmth.

A new event sponsored by the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce this year, the first annual “Ring of Fire and Hope” on New Year’s Eve will light up the bay.

At approximately 6:30 p.m., all around the bay, participants will light flares, provided by the coast guard, that are near their expiration date.

Children can also use flashlights and candles in a fire safe container to join the show. A proposed aerial portion of the Birch Bay’s Ring of Fire & Hope has been cancelled due to safety concerns with launched flare types in the event winds develop. The program will be limited to road flares safely placed in the sand at the high tide line only.

For more information, contact committee chairman, Mike Kent at 360/527-8901 or email mike@mikekent.com. Flare donations and volunteers are welcomed!