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Channel Polar Plunge is ‘First’ event of new year


January 6, 2021

COLD REALITY – Rick Dole (left), John Leaver and Kelly Payne (right) symbolized the high tide of folks here and elsewhere eager to get rid of 2020. They jumped into the new year and a chilly Swinomish Channel Friday. Annie Taylor (not pictured) joined the trio. The four substituted their “Polar Plunge” for the now regular “First on First” extended shopping hours in town. – Photo by Sarah Walls

After the sink or swim year that was 2020, members of the La Conner “First on First” committee could not wait to get back in the water on New Year’s.

Literally, at that.

Rick Dole, Annie Taylor and Town Councilmember John Leaver of the group that promotes extended dining and shopping here on the first Friday of each month were joined by Kelly Payne for a quick morning dip in Swinomish Channel to mark the start of 2021. They were cheered on by more than a dozen onlookers.

It was an eye-opening launch to the new year, for sure, a quick turnaround for those who had stayed up past 12 t...

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