Important info for Saturday’s Polar Bear Plunge

Hello Polar Bear Plungers!

We’re very excited about how things are looking for this Saturday’s 7th annual Polar Bear Plunge at National Harbor on the Potomac River. Thanks for all you’re doing to solicit sponsors of your plunge and for participating in this important action!

This blog post is filled with IMPORTANT logistical information, so please read the whole thing:

Volunteering: We are a little short of volunteers to help make the event run smoothly. If you and/or someone coming to support you can get there by 10 am to do this, please contact Ted Glick at or 240-396-2155.

Arrival time: You should plan to arrive at 10:30 am so you can park, get registered and be able to listen to our short program  beginning at 11am, featuring Mike Tidwell, James Hansen, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, and a few other special guests – we promise to keep it brief! We’ll move over to the changing tents by 11:30.


Waiver forms: Please print out the waiver forms, sign them and bring them with you on Saturday, even if you checked off the box about this when you signed up at the website. We need you to personally sign these two forms. It will help a lot to expedite the registration process and move things along if you’ve done so in advance. You will receive these via email tonight (Tuesday) or tomorrow, but you can also email Ted and ask for them if you missed that – 



Free parking passes: The first 100 cars will be able to park for free. If we have more than 100 cars, parking for any cars after that is $3 for the first hour, $5 for the second, etc. (see car pooling below).

Footwear and body wrap: Be sure to bring sandals or old shoes to wear for when you go into the water. There’s a nice beach along the river where we enter the river, but it’s still a good idea to protect your feet. Also, we highly recommend bringing a blanket or robe to wrap up in on your way to and from the changing tents.

Extra socks: We will have a pair of foot warmers (the packs like the kind you find on ski slopes) for you, but you should also be sure to bring a pair of warm socks for after the plunge, as our toes and feet are usually the most sensitive to the cold water.

Driving directions:

Finding CCAN at National Harbor: If you’re not taking public transportation (see below), here are some quick directions as you get close to the Harbor. Once you exit I-295 or I-495 to National Harbor, you will be on National Harbor Blvd. Turn right at the first traffic light you come to (Waterfront Avenue), turn right again at National Plaza, and take a final right at an unnamed street right before where the buildings begin and into an outdoor parking lot. A CCAN staffer will be there to greet you.

Public transportation: You can pick up a shuttle to National Harbor from Branch Ave Metro or the Oxon Hill Park and Ride Lot. Here’s a link to this information, be sure to scroll down to the Saturday schedule:

Carpooling: if you are interested in carpooling with others from your area, contact Ted at or 240-396-2155, and he will work to connect people.

Weather forecast: As of today, the weather forecast is predicting in the mid-forties (very different than last year!).  Be sure to check this out before you come, and dress accordingly.

T-shirts and raffle prizes: For everyone who has raised at least $100, we’ll have a beautiful “I took the plunge/2012” t-shirt waiting for you. We will have extra t-shirts for sale for $20. Also, you will have a chance to enter the raffle and/or buy raffle tickets at registration. Folks who raise $350 or more will be entered to win automatically.

After-party: We’ll be having a wonderful after-party at McLoone’s Pier House, right next to where we’ll be gathering. We’ll be getting a happy hour $2.00 price for drinks. Plan to join us!

A final word: there’s still time to reach out for sponsors! There are ALWAYS people who contribute late and even after the plunge. If you have a few more people to ask that you haven’t gotten around to yet, be sure to do so, and/or follow up one final time with some of those you’ve already asked.

Thanks again for all you’re doing to ensure a successful and fun event! See you Saturday!