Kirkland's annual polar plunge canceled due to lack of funding

Hundreds plunge into Lake Washington
Hundreds plunge into Lake Washington's freezing water on New Year's Day at Marina Park.
— image credit: File Photo/Kirkand Reporter

The City of Kirkland has canceled the 2010 New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge, due to budget reductions and position vacancies.

For seven years the city has organized and managed this popular tradition, which has drawn thousands to Kirkland's shores.

Mike Metteer, an official for the city's Parks & Community Services Department, said a lot of resources go into the polar plunge event, including funding for lifeguards, park staff to man the fire and emergency services.

He noted the event is one of several that the city decided to cut from its budget next year, including the Summer Concert Series and the annual Easter egg hunt.

"We are looking to see if another group might be interested to take it on," Metteer said of the polar plunge event.

Persons or businesses interested in sponsoring future events are encouraged to contact Metteer at 425-587-3380 or

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