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Polar Plunge to Return to Bellevue

The 2020 Greater Cincinnati Polar Plunge is set for Saturday, February 1 at the parking lot near Joe's Crab Shack in Bellevue.

As usual, participants will raise at least $75 (or $50, if under 18), and then take a leap into the chilly pool set up at the site.

The proceeds benefit Special Olympics programs in Kentucky and Ohio.

The actual Plunge is only part of the event. The day includes a costume contest as well as fun throughout the day for participants and spectators alike.

Anyone who wants to take the Plunge can sign up on-line at, create their own web page, and raise money through the official Polar Plunge website. Participants can register as individuals or gather a team of friends, family, or coworkers and register as a group.

All participants receive the official Polar Plunge t-shirt, but can earn additional prizes for raising more money. The top three overall fundraisers will have their names entered in a drawing to win a $1,000 travel voucher from AAA Travel.

Afraid of the cold water or can’t be there on Plunge day? Again this year you can register as a “Virtual Plunger,” and raise money to support Special Olympics athletes, while still being eligible for great fundraising prizes.

There will be an early check-in for participants who want to avoid the lines on Plunge day. Early check-in will be held at Joe’s Crab Shack in Bellevue from 4-7 pm on Friday, Jan. 31. Participants can turn in all money raised and gather select fundraising prizes prior to the event day.

Day-of-event registration for the Polar Plunge begins at 9 a.m. at Joe’s. Opening ceremonies, including the costume parade and costume contest, kick off at 11 a.m. and Plunging begins at approximately 11:30 a.m.

In addition to the costume contest, prizes will be awarded to the top fundraising university or school group, top fundraising law enforcement group, top fundraising corporate group and the top fundraising team.

Last year more than 570 people took the Plunge, raising more than $135,000 in its seventh year at Joe’s Crab Shack. This will be the 15th year that the Special Olympics programs in Kentucky and Ohio have combined to organize the event. The Plunge has raised more than $1.7 million in the last 14 years and in its 20-year history has raised more than $1.9 million for Special Olympics programs.

-Staff report