News Local

Icy dip part of Cabin Fever

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

PETAWAWA – A quick dip in frozen water is one way to get started in the morning.


On Sunday morning, some 15 brave souls took the plunge at Centennial Park as they participated in the third ever Petawawa Polar Bear Plunge, part of Cabin Fever, the town's annual winter carnival.

The event was canceled last year due to poor ice conditions, but this year there was a good 16 inches of ice to hold up the spectators, who were content to watch others jump into the frigid water.

This year, the money raised is going to the Petawawa Public Library to help them update their collection.

Liz Pombiere, the library's community outreach technician, said there was a great turn out this year, featuring a variety of ages, with the youngest participant being eight years old.

“There has been a lot of community support,” she said. While the final tally hasn't been determined yet, Pombiere said donations continue to come in, and the amount should be calculated soon.

One thing that is known is who the top fundraisers were - a trio from 2 CER Maintenance. Cpl. Chris Pombiere, MCpl Alex Henri and Sgt. Nelson Shearer all went into the water after collectively raising $240.

The plunge was just part of the opening weekend of Cabin Fever, which featured such diverse events as the Snow-Pitch tournament, family snowshoeing through the Petawawa Terrace, the Corks and Canvass Paint Night with glow paint, and family free skates.

The Petawawa Predators swim club even got into the spirit, by hosting its Petawawa Cabin Fever Snow Qualifier and Fundamental Skills Competition at the pool in Dundonald Hall.

Colin Coyle, Petawawa's recreation program co-ordinator, thanked the Petawawa Fire Department for volunteering to keep the Polar Bear Plunge safe. He said the rest of the carnival has been going well, except for the snowmobile drag races, which due to poor snow conditions were postponed to Feb. 10.

Coyle said with snow in the forecast this coming week, he is hopeful conditions will improve in time for the second weekend of Cabin Fever. This includes a free outdoor family event on Jan. 27, the firefighter's annual chili cook off, stand up comedy night and more.

“The Lion's Trivia Night on Friday is sold out,” he said, and with other events throughout the week, it is looking like the last weekend will be a winner like the opening one.

“This is all about getting the family out to enjoy your community,” he said. 

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