So, you’ve survived New Year’s Eve: you danced to the band, you kissed—well someone—at midnight, and you’re either just waking up, or greeting the New Year’s Day sun after an all-nighter. So what will you do to welcome 2014 to Door County? How about a refreshing dip in icy Lake Michigan? A brisk hike through the wintery majesty of Whitefish Dunes or Peninsula State Park? A rousing round of mini golf at the Red Putter’s Frost Bite Open? The annual Pancake Breakfast at the Mink River Basin sounds tame, but it’s all to support the furry creatures at the DC Humane Society. Or perhaps you’ll join in (then again, maybe just watch) the New Year’s Day Parade in Egg Harbor then shop away at their great Frosty Fest Sales!
9am-12pm: DCHS Pancake Breakfast at Mink River Basin
The annual Pancake Breakfast at Mink River Basin will be served from 9am-noon on New Year’s Day, and benefits the Door County Humane Society. For just $10 per adult and $5 per child age 10 and under, feast on pancakes, meatballs, fruit, potatoes, and coffee. Juice is available for purchase as well as the Basin’s signature Bloody Marys! The Mink River Basin is located at 12010 Hwy 42, Ellison Bay WI. Call 920.854.2250 for more information.
8-11:30am: The “Great Pancake Show” Breakfast
10am: Plunge Registration
12pm/Noon: Polar Bear Plunge
Though the 28th annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge in Jacksonport always takes place at 12 noon sharp, the festivities will begin at 10am at the Lakeside Park. Whether you decide to take the plunge or just want to watch your friends turn blue, you’ll be able to warm up and fortify yourself against the cold with hot apple cider and steaming bowls of chili sold by the Jacksonport Historical Society (all proceeds will go the their museum fund).
Registration for all swimmers will also take place starting at 10am at the park shelter closest to the lake. If you’re one of these brave bears, make sure to stop and sign the liability release form so you can join in the swim. Forms, as well as Jacksonport Polar Bear Club T-shirts, hats, and pins available for purchase, can be found at the registration pavilion. Free certificates of achievement will be available to all swimmers when they register. The event is free but spectators and participants are aksed to bring a nonperishable food or cash donation for Feed My People. Those of us planning to stay dry and behind the yellow-taped areas, get to join in a 10-second countdown to noon when some 600-800 bodies will go crashing and shivering into Lake Michigan and welcome 2014 with a splash.
Swimmers are encouraged to dress with care or the temperature outside and protect their feet against the ice. The Jacksonport Fire Department is there to make sure participants stay safe and together with other Peninsula fire departments, offers the “Great Pancake Show” Breakfast with a deejay to entertain from 8-11:30am at the Jacksonport Fire Station on County V not far from Lakeside Park. Profits go to the participating fire departments. For more information, visit the Jacksonport Polar Bear Club online, on Facebook, or call 920.823.2288.
10am: First Day Hike at Peninsula State Park
This family-friendly First Day Hike sponsored by Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek will begin at 10am. Hikers should meet at the Weborg picnic shelter prior to the hike, which is an easy one to three mile route along the Sunset bike trail and Weborg Marsh. Led by Friends of Peninsula State Park, your hike leader will also help the group to identify birds. Parents are encouraged to bring their children (adult supervision required), sorry, no pets. State park vehicle sticker or day pass is required. Call 920.868.3258 for more information!
1pm: New Year’s Day Parade & Frosty Fest
The beloved New Year’s Day Parade in Egg Harbor begins at 1pm and runs through Egg Harbor on Hwy 42. Virtually anyone can participate in the parade with no formal registration – just get festive, dress up, bring your pet, drive or ride a vehicle, or whatever your imagination comes up with – the options are almost unlimited! Lineup begins at Stella Maris Parish, 7710 Hwy 42 in downtown Egg Harbor, and the parade runs north through the village from Harbor School Road to County Hwy E (parking is available on Church Street). This annual parade, in its 35th year now, will take place regardless of the weather or thermostat, so whether you plan to watch or join in, dress accordingly! After the parade grab lunch at Shipwrecked Brew Pub and take advantage of the great Frosty Fest shopping specials throughout Egg Harbor (click HERE to see Shopping Specials), and enjoy live music, food vendors, and snow sculptures.
2pm: First Day Hike at Whitefish Dunes State Park
Located near beautiful Glidden Lodge here you may already have enjoyed New Year’s Eve, Whitefish Dunes State Park invites you to celebrate 2014 with a hike of exploration! Hikers should meet at the Nature Center. On the hike see forested dunes and rocky shores with a naturalist, just remember to wear good hiking boots or snowshoes and to dress for the weather, it’s going to be a chilly New Year’s Day! Hot beverages will be provided at the Nature Center after the hike. Whitefish Dunes State Park is located at 3275 Clark Lake Road (county WD), on the Lake Michigan shoreline south of Jacksonport. The hike is free, though a park vehicle sticker is required. For more information please call 920.823.2400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
10am-1:45pm: Frostbite Registration
2pm: Frostbite Open at Red Putter
Located at 10404 Water Street in Ephraim WI, the Red Putter held its first Frostbite Open on January 1st, 2011, and here in Wisconsin, we liked it – so they keep doing it! This is an open tournament, so anyone can play – no qualification required. Golfers should plan to register (and practice) between 10am and 1:45pm, registration cost is $25, play will begin at 2pm. Hot drinks and chili will be served to warm you up. There will be trophies for all who place and cash prizes for 1st ($700), 2nd ($200), & 3rd ($100) place and Best Single Game. Even if you don’t place, everyone who completes both rounds will receive a bumper sticker stating, “I survived the Frostbite Open!” For more information call 920.854.5114.
Whatever you do to welcome the New Year here in Door County, Door County welcomes you to enjoy our Peninsula in all the seasons this year. Have you hunted Easter Eggs in Lakeside Park? Viewed a shipwreck from a clear-bottom kayak on a hot day? Zip-lined through the trees? Seen the Fall Colors on a crisp afternoon? There’s so much that makes Door County the unique and beautiful place that it is. Make it your resolution to experience Door County differently this year!