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Appleton Mayor invites people to take an icy plunge

Braving the icy water in a past Winterfest Polar Dip
Braving the icy water in a past Winterfest Polar Dip

“This is a great opportunity to check another thing off your bucket list.”

Appleton Mayor Derm Flynn is inviting people to take a plunge a into “the frigid waters of the mighty Gander River.”

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Winterfest is bringing back the popular Polar Dip. 

Flynn says, “It’s not for the faint of heart, obviously.”

But he is encouraging people to take the plunge. 

“It’s a very quick dip in the river.  People dress up in crazy costumes and that type of thing and that’s part of the fun of it all.”

It costs $20 to sign up and participants can also take pledge sheets. 

According to Flynn, it’s easy to get sponsors. 

“It’s generally not that difficult to convince your friends to throw five dollars into the pot to sponsor you for something that crazy.  That’s the first thing they say, as long as I don’t have to do it, I’ll sponsor you.” 

For safety considerations, Winterfest requests that all participants sign up at the town hall before the event.

“We have to know the numbers of people because we have to have support for them.  We have support vehicles down there and we’ve got a warming vehicle.”  

Flynn says the business community and various agencies chip in to provide support.

In past years, they’ve had participants from around the area, including their MP.  Flynn says MP Scott Simms has committed to take the plunge, but MHA John Haggie has gracefully declined. 

Flynn says, “In his words, our MHA is going to hold the thermal blanket for our MP when he comes out of the water for the Polar Dip.”

People are also invited to come along and watch. 

“There’s obviously more spectators on the shore than people going in the water . . . people wanting to see who’s going the be the ones . . . the brave at heart, I guess, or the young at heart that are going to do that type of event.”

When the Beacon asked if Flynn was going to take the dip, he said his wife Diane would be representing the Flynn family.  He said with a laugh, “It’s not going to be the mayor.” 

The proceeds from Winterfest activities are donated to community groups and other organizations around the area.

The polar dip is taking place on Feb. 18, at around noon, at the marina in Appleton.  

Winterfest runs from Feb. 13-19.

For more information, contact the town hall at 679-5503.

Appleton Mayor Derm Flynn is inviting people to take a plunge a into “the frigid waters of the mighty Gander River.”

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Winterfest is bringing back the popular Polar Dip. 

Flynn says, “It’s not for the faint of heart, obviously.”

But he is encouraging people to take the plunge. 

“It’s a very quick dip in the river.  People dress up in crazy costumes and that type of thing and that’s part of the fun of it all.”

It costs $20 to sign up and participants can also take pledge sheets. 

According to Flynn, it’s easy to get sponsors. 

“It’s generally not that difficult to convince your friends to throw five dollars into the pot to sponsor you for something that crazy.  That’s the first thing they say, as long as I don’t have to do it, I’ll sponsor you.” 

For safety considerations, Winterfest requests that all participants sign up at the town hall before the event.

“We have to know the numbers of people because we have to have support for them.  We have support vehicles down there and we’ve got a warming vehicle.”  

Flynn says the business community and various agencies chip in to provide support.

In past years, they’ve had participants from around the area, including their MP.  Flynn says MP Scott Simms has committed to take the plunge, but MHA John Haggie has gracefully declined. 

Flynn says, “In his words, our MHA is going to hold the thermal blanket for our MP when he comes out of the water for the Polar Dip.”

People are also invited to come along and watch. 

“There’s obviously more spectators on the shore than people going in the water . . . people wanting to see who’s going the be the ones . . . the brave at heart, I guess, or the young at heart that are going to do that type of event.”

When the Beacon asked if Flynn was going to take the dip, he said his wife Diane would be representing the Flynn family.  He said with a laugh, “It’s not going to be the mayor.” 

The proceeds from Winterfest activities are donated to community groups and other organizations around the area.

The polar dip is taking place on Feb. 18, at around noon, at the marina in Appleton.  

Winterfest runs from Feb. 13-19.

For more information, contact the town hall at 679-5503.

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