Annual Lake DeSmet Polar Bear Plunge New Years Day

In what has become an annual tradition for some in northeast Wyoming on New Years Day, the Polar Bear Plunge, will happen at Lake DeSmet this coming Sunday afternoon.

Those souls brave enough, or some might say crazy enough, to willingly jump into the icy waters of the lake, will gather at the boat ramp at the Mikesell-Potts Recreation Area to welcome in the new year at 1pm.

Those that have “taken the plunge” in the past have said they do it for many reasons including to symbolically “cleanse” themselves for the new year, or that it's just “something fun and different to do.” Others have done it simply because of a dare.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to show up either to jump in the lake themselves or support those that do.

Rob Forister, one of many that helps organize and put on the plunge, said Thursday that the ice is roughly 10 inches thick in the bay, and they will be cutting a hole in the ice and prepping that area Sunday morning for the plunge.

Forister added that there is no cost to take part in the event.

For pictures from last year's Polar Bear Plunge at Lake DeSmet, go to this story online at