This file photo from the 2005 Polar Plunge in Chatfield shows, from left, Brad Boice, Curt Sorenson and Tony Lammers making quite a splash during Chill Fest activities at Mill Creek. This year's event is slated for Saturday, Jan. 26, and will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
This file photo from the 2005 Polar Plunge in Chatfield shows, from left, Brad Boice, Curt Sorenson and Tony Lammers making quite a splash during Chill Fest activities at Mill Creek. This year's event is slated for Saturday, Jan. 26, and will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Looking for some twirly, swirly January fun?

Want a brush with frigid fame?

Be a plunger.

The 2013 Chatfield Chill Fest Polar Plunge has a new mission this year to make it more attractive to potential plungers. The annual event will be held Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Mill Creek Bridge on Third Street in Chatfield.

"The last few years, we've been losing plungers, and each year, it dwindles some more to the point where there are only 20 to 25 people and it takes less than 15 minutes, so we're hoping to make this a positive thing to do, give people a reason to jump if it benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," said Chatfield Fire Department member Dean Irish.

The just-plain-crazy and the caring can now do what they love best to benefit children's cancer research and children who have cancer.

"The Chatfield Fire Department co-sponsors the plunge and we looked at it and thought it would be a great opportunity to increase jumpers," Irish stated. "The one they do in Rochester is done by the sheriff's department, and that's a two-day deal."

Irish also explained that since this is the first year the event is being held as a benefit, he will be pleased to get over 50 people with their pledges.

"I want it to take at least an hour," he said. "We'll hopefully be able to keep people around the park longer - if we get more people to jump, there'll be more people showing up to watch. I hope we get a decent turnout and are able to build on it. And there are people who are happy to pay somebody to go jump in the creek, so the pledges are all tax deductible and for a good cause."

Jumpers are required to wear shoes and sign pledge and waiver forms for the event. Beyond that, they're allowed to wear anything other than just their birthday suits. They can also yell as loudly as they'd like as they take the great heave into the frigid fray.

The fire department and the ambulance crew will be available to assist plungers who might need a hand getting out of the creek and this year's Polar Plunge has some extra features, according to Irish.

"One thing we're hoping to have is a couple hot tubs donated by Thatcher Pool and Spa in Rochester, and a couple trailers - his and hers - for warming up and changing in after people plunge," he added.

Irish isn't sure he'll put on his trunks and take the chilly challenge, however, as he did it once and has been scarred ever since.

"I may jump - I did it the first year - and I'll definitely be pledging money for other people to jump in. I encourage them to team up and get pledges and jump. Hopefully, there'll be good weather for the plunge, and we can get people to show up at 1 and make a lineup and start the jump at 2.

Irish said the forms to register are available online at the city website or at Dave Dudek's barber shop, so individuals can fill them out and be ready to go prior to the plunge on Jan. 26.

Registration is scheduled for 1 p.m., on the event day and the actual dunk in the drink is slated to start at 2 p.m.

For more information, one may contact Dean Irish at (507) 993-1523 or Jay Hanson at (507) 261-4540, or log onto the Chatfield city website at www.ci.chatfield.mn.us to obtain the pledge form and waiver. Pledge and waiver forms are also available at Dave's Barber Shop at 225 S. Main Street in Chatfield.