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Planning Commission

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Jan 10

The Pottstown Polar Bear Plunge is One of Many Great Events in Montgomery County

Posted on January 10, 2014 at 4:42 PM by Michael Stokes

The Pottstown Polar Bear Plunge is One of Many Great Events in Montgomery County

For the past six years, the Pottstown Polar Bear Plunge has encouraged residents near Pottstown to do something rather unusual to start their new year.  I should know this; I have been one of those odd balls who have plunged into the arctic waters of the Schuylkill River each of the past four years.   This year about 125 of us took to the freezing waters, and then ran over to a large bonfire to warm up and talk with the over 500 friends and spectators who had also gathered at Riverfront Park.  This new Pottstown tradition was a great way to start out 2014.

The Pottstown Polar Bear plunge is just one of the several great community events held around the county each year.   Each of these events, whether they are athletic competitions or races;  awareness raising forums;  farmers markets; food or beer galas; music, arts, cultural or ethnic festivals; car shows; or holiday parades, bring people together and form stronger community bonds.   They get us out of the house and into the open air to meet our friends and better connect with our community.   These community connections made throughout the year are essential in building and maintaining a vibrant and sustainable county.   Despite having powerful communication devices at our fingertips, the meaningful face to face experiences that we have at some of these events are the most important in our lives.

In the future, we need to ensure that these types of events and social interaction are promoted in the way we design our community.   Well planned and designed public spaces are essential for healthy communities.  Also, our planning needs to recognize that the success of these events is largely a result of thousands of volunteers, local government, and  focused non-profit organizations that work together to do what needs to be done. 

Best wishes for 2014.   I hope to see you at many events in Montgomery County this year.

Pottstown Polar Bear Plunge 2011 Deeper.JPG

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