|Announcer/PV Parks and Rec Director Brian Witty crowns the freezing 2012 Ice Princess, Eyup Michael Ozaltin, who won the crowd’s approval for hairiest chest.|
Trib File/Sue Tone
If last year's hardy jumpers have a New Year's wish for the 2013 Polar Bear Splash, it's that the weather will duplicate Jan. 7, 2012 - sunny, no wind, no rain, no snow.
Jason Elmer, Town of Prescott Valley Parks and Recreation manager, however, is hoping for mild temperatures and the right humidity for making snow Friday night before the Saturday, Jan. 5, event at Mountain Valley Splash pool.
"We watch the forecast closely to see if we can make snow. We're looking for mild temperatures - we need 28 degrees at 7 a.m. - in order to produce enough snow for sledding," Elmer said.
If the weather cooperates, Parks and Rec workers start up the snowmaking machine around 9-10 p.m. Friday evening. According to this past Thursday's forecast, "We're right on the border of snow or no snow," he said.
The 8th Annual Polar Bear Splash event begins at 10 a.m. with sledding (fingers crossed for snow!), the Ice Princess Contest - men only - for the hairiest chest, free pancake breakfast provided by Back Burner Family Restaurant, ice cream eating contest for all ages, and the Duck Slide Contest.
The Duck Slide involves contestants signing their names to a numbered yellow duckie. All ducks are released at the top of the slide, and the reigning Ice Princess fishes one out from the pool. The winner gets his or her choice of a free pair of Oakley or Arnette glasses from Kokopelli Eye Care.
Children's Learning Castle and the PV Arts and Culture Commissioners will offer make-and-take crafts. Children can win prizes at the beanbag toss and the floating golf game.
"We have lots of prizes this year," Witty said, for the Splash event: two dinners-for-two certificates from Prickly Pear Café, Buffalo Wild Wings gift cards, free bowling at Antelope Lanes, free oil changes at Auto Works, dinner for two at Cracker Barrel, dinner for two at Garcia's, $25 gift card for Fireside Grill, skate vouchers, $20 gift card for Walmart provided by Battery Plus, free massage from Prescott Valley Disc and Spine, head phones from Audio Adrenaline, and "really good stuff" from Ace Hardware. Part of the Ice Princess award is a small grill, he added.
The actual Splash ends the event at 11:45 a.m. when jumpers clad in swimsuits, wetsuits, or tracksuits vie to reach one of more than 30 weighted prizes at the bottom of the pool. The water temperature at last year's Polar Bear Splash event was 37 degrees. Central Yavapai Fire District firefighters/EMTs will be standing by.
All participants receive a small 2013 commemorative towel.
Elmer estimates about 40-60 people will take the plunge; about 500-1,000 will attend the event and stay dry. KDDL Cattle Country Radio will be present as a live remote.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Elmer said. "It's a short event, but we have a great time."