2019 Cherokee Lake Polar Plunge


Cherokee Lake Realty is the founder and promoter of the First Annual East Tennessee Polar Plunge, held at Cherokee Lake on January 1st, 2019. A special thanks to the Cherokee Lake Users Association and the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, for helping make the event a success.

A celebration to bring in the 2019 New Year with a Plunge into the cold waters of Cherokee Lake, the Polar Plunge was a huge success. The chosen charity to give proceeds to this year was the Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful foundation. Sponsors for the event included Walmart of Jefferson City, First Peoples Bank, Thunder Country 104.7, Busch’s, Tennova Health Care, Mossy Creek Foundation, Middle Tennessee Tourism Council, Greenlee Marine, Smarketing, Hibbett Sports, Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, Bucks “N” Bass, Gondolier and Off the Hook Restaurants. As well as newspapers Citizen Tribune, Grainger Today, The Jefferson County Post and The Standard Banner. The event was extensively covered by the aforementioned newspapers as well as television stations Channel 6 and Channel 10.1

The event also featured food trucks and vendors, while DJ Steve-O “The Morning Guy” with Thunder Country 104.7 broadcast music live and set the pace for the fast-moving event. The Polar Plunge began with a Parade of Penguins costume contest where Plungers, dressed in zany parade participants, were judged for “best costume” prior to heading to the lakeshore. Prizes were awarded for the most creative costumes, including a full-size kayak with paddles, donated by Walmart of Jefferson City. Elvis was one of these contestants, portrayed by retiring Carson Newman University President, Dr. J. Randall O’Brien. The competition was stiff as demonstrated by the fact that Dr. O’Brien did not win top prize, but it was “cool” to see Elvis not in the building, but in the lake! The judges were the mayors from Bean Station – Terry Wolfe, Grainger County – Mike Byrd, Hamblen County – Bill Brittain, Jefferson City – Mitch Cain, Mark Potts – Jefferson County, and New Market – Beau Tucker. The head judge was the Mayor of Knox County, Glenn Jacobs, whose previous career was that of the professional wrestler “Kane”.

After the Parade of Penguins, the Plungers were led into the lake by the honorary starter, Dr. Tony Miksa, President of Walters State Community College. One of the highlights of the event was the Mayor of Bean Station, Terry Wolfe, being thrown into the lake on his last day in office, as a send-off into retirement, by Knox County Mayor “Kane.”

We can’t wait until 2020 when we will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for this type of event!

  1. For example, see https://www.wate.com/news/local-news/first-ever-east-tennessee-polar-plunge-invites-people-to-dive-into-2019/1678253732