CHEBEAGUE ISLAND — The 14th annual Winter Carnival will kick off at noon on Saturday, Feb. 15, when a handful of brave souls run screaming into the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Polar Plunge, as its known, is one of several fundraisers held throughout the day to benefit the Chebeague Recreation Center, a nonprofit organization that provides year-round programming for the town.
Plungers must raise $50 or more in pledges to participate; $100 earns a Chebeague Island towel. A raucous cast of onlookers is expected to provide moral support.
“I do it every year because people donate a lot of money for me to do it,” said Beverly Johnson, a former president of the Recreation Center. “I don’t know why other people do it. Maybe a dare?”
The plunge is followed immediately by a chili, chowder and soup cook-off at the Recreation Center. Attendees vote on first, second and third place in each category, and winners take home prizes in the form of bragging rights and gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children.
The Winter Carnival closes with live music by Chebeague artists from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Chebeague Island Hall Community Center.
For more information, or to sign up for the Polar Plunge or chili, chowder and soup challenge, contact the Chebeague Recreation Center at 846-5068.