VENTNOR – The weather forecast for Saturday’s Presidential Polar Plunge calls for clouds and temperatures at a balmy 51 degrees. Although the water will be very cold – in the mid 30s – there will be ample opportunity to warm up before and after the plunge at St. James Church Memorial Hall.

The day starts 9-11 a.m. with a pancake breakfast cooked up by Ventnor’s first responders, followed by the plunge in the Atlantic Ocean 11:15 a.m. at Newport Avenue beach.

The fun continues at noon back at the hall where Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House and Ducktown Tavern will challenge Ventnor first responders, local businesses, groups and individuals to see who can come up with the “Best Chili in Town.”

The Ventnor Business Association is inviting home cooks to participate in the chili cook-off by bringing 6 quarts of warmed chili to the hall by 11:30 a.m. Chaffing dishes and Sterno will be provided. There is no fee to enter. Register online at the Ventnor Business Association Facebook page.

The entrance fee for the chili tasting is $5 and benefits the Police Benevolent Association and the Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association. The winner will be announced at 2 p.m.

Ventnor’s polar plunge normally held on New Year’s Day was originated in 2000 by AAAA Bike Shop owner Mike Weisen, who thought it was time to allow others to get involved in organizing the event. The VBA took over and changed the date to Presidents Day weekend.

“We chose to do it on President’s Day weekend as a way to get folks back into town to celebrate the President’s Day holiday and be able to participate in a community event while they are here,” VBA President Christina Rubenstein said.

Last year’s plunge on New Year’s Day was cancelled because it was too cold to even consider donning a bathing suit. Temperatures that day were between 13-20 degrees.

More information is available at vbanj.com.

Categories: Ventnor