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Take the plunge, then party with Pauly D

Tourism and LeisureState ParksSpecial Olympics

It's time to take the plunge with Pauly D. Relax, now, because I'm not talking about moving to New Jersey or having to bunk down between J-Wow and Sammi Sweetheart. What I'm talking about is the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park.

Bare it all – or maybe leave something on – for the "coolest" event this side of the ice floe. Did I mention that the Chesapeake Bay is close to freezing over this winter? Still, thousands will likely show up for the plunge, a fundraiser for the Maryland Special Olympics that's in its 15th year. Last year, some 15,000 hardy folks took at least a quick dip in the frigid waters.

Did I mention that Pauly D will be there? That's right. The Maryland coast will get a taste of the Jersey Shore when Pauly D performs at the Rams Head Ice Lodge. He's not the only celebrity — Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is also expected to join the fun.

The plan: To participate, you have to raise at least $50 in donations. So get busy doing that today as well as registering online. If you just want to watch, there's a huge heated festival tent for the kids and those who just aren't that cool. But there's more fun under the tent with vendor booths, live music, food, carnival amusements, sandcastle building and more.

Pauly D starts spinning tunes at 12:30 p.m., so plan to take the plunge earlier so you don't miss a minute of the fist-pumping fun. There are a limited number of "Ultimate Plunge VIP" packages that offer a close-up "meet and greet" with the "Jersey Shore" star.

The details: Plungefest: Polar Bear Plunge 2011, Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sandy Point State Park, 1100 East College Parkway, Annapolis. Admission is free for spectators. Plungers must raise $50 in pledges.

Please note that the Polar Bear Plunge is now an alcohol-free event. "Alcohol will not be sold at the Plunge, nor will alcohol be condoned as part of the spirited tailgating that takes place prior to the charge into the Chesapeake Bay," organizers said in announcing the new alcohol policy. Also, no pets are allowed.

So, go for the fun, stay for Pauly D and skip the juice.

For more information, go to http://www.plungemd.com/index.php or call 410-789-6677, ext. 503.

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