Drought delays annual Lake Lanier event

The Lake Lanier Polar Bear Plunge has been delayed until February 2017 due to low water levels. (Credit: The Gainesville Times)

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The Lake Lanier Polar Bear Plunge has been delayed until February 2017 due to low water levels. (Credit: The Gainesville Times)

A Lake Lanier tradition has been delayed because of the drought conditions in North Georgia, the Gainesville Times reported.

The annual Polar Bear Plunge, in which people jump into the frigid waters on New Year’s Day, has been postponed until February, according to the report.

Lower water levels are a factor, and debris protruding from the lake and just under the surface made conditions unsafe, said Tracy Barth of the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club, which organizes the event.

Officials didn’t want to cancel the event. “We want to see that tradition carried on,” Barth said.

Officials will wait to ensure that water levels at Lake Lanier are safe before confirming an actual date for the jump, which has brought out as many as 125 participants.