Three Rivers Polar Bear Dip

January 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A New Year's Day tradition sent dozens of valley residents jumping into the cold Kaweah River Thursday afternoon as a restaurant in Three Rivers hosted its sixth annual Polar Bear Dip.Country music filled the patio of the Gateway Restaurant and Lodge. But Porterville's Nicholas Gonzales didn't seem to pay the music any mind and he and others prepared to jump in the water below. "I know it's going to be cold. Its just one of those things, you wanna go ahead and take a chance," said Gonzales.

People dressed in layers as they showed up to the lodge. Then, after signing releases, they took off their clothes and got in the chilly water. While some waded in, others dived. And one man jumped in wearing a three piece suit. The hollering that followed signaled just how cold the water was.

Gonzales said this was just one of those things he wanted to do as he gets older. "I think it's invigorating. It wakes you up! You're ready for the year!" said Gonzales.

Dozens of people took the chilly dip and even more gathered to watch the Three Rivers tradition that keeps growing every year. "It gets bigger and bigger every year. I think people parked 2 to 3 blocks away," said Gateway Restaurant and Lodge owner Glenn McIntire.

A thermometer showed the water's temperature was at 42 degrees. Because of that, many of the dippers got out as soon as they got in. But nearby, ducks couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about. Despite the cold, many said they'll be back next year. "It's fun! It's Three Rivers! It's a tradition!" said Three Rivers native Breeanna Bailey.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


abc30 News Links:
Links to other news sections on our website.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Breaking News Alerts:
Click Here to Sign-Up for Breaking News E-Mail Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts in your email inbox.


Click Here to Sign-Up for Text Message Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts right on your cell phone.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Load Comments