Swimmers plunge into Lake Washington to ring in the New Year in Kirkland

Dozens dashed into Lake Washington's freezing water for the unofficial Polar Bear Plunge to ring in the New Year Jan. 1 at Marina Park.

The City of Kirkland hosted the event for seven years before budget cuts canceled the plunge in 2009. Avid plungers and Kirkland residents Janis Rabuchin (Kirkland Weblog) and Rob Butcher (Kirkland Views) rallied the community this year and last to jump in the lake, despite the budget cuts.

The Grape Choice wine shop owners Penny Sweet and Larry Springer provided shivering swimmers warm cups of hot cocoa following the dip.

The Reporter thanks Kirkland photographer Jeff Heinz for contributing photos of the event.

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