U.P. Car Plunge Contest dates back to 1940

U.P. Car Plunge Contest dates back to 1940

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Iron Mountain Rotary Club continued an old tradition this past weekend by placing a car onto an Iron Mountain lake for their annual Car Plunge Contest. ABC 10’s Chelsea Snyder has more on the story.

It all began back in 1940, when a few civic groups realized how fun it would be to put a car onto of a frozen lake and wager when it would finally crash through the ice.

It was a long standing winter tradition until it finally fizzled out decades ago. Long–time Rotary club member John DeRidder, who remembers the tradition as a child, decided to bring it back.

Car Plunge Chairman John DeRidder said, “It was something that had been done years earlier. The generation of people who are here now, never thought of it or had never heard of it, you know that sort of thing. So we thought we’d give it a try and see if there was some sediment on the side of the city council and by golly there was.”

This is the second year since the tradition has been brought back. Planning for the car plunge begins in early august and takes about six months of administrative work and modifying the chosen car. The vehicle used for the plunge is donated to the Rotary Club.

“We asked for a donor publicly and it turned out that one of our Rotary Club members had one. Someone in the family said, and I think it was a female member of the family, said we got to get this out of our driveway.”

Residence of the area say this is a great way to embrace their colder climate and it gives back to a good cause.

Iron Mountain Rotary Club President, Jason Hall said, “It is very positive, very exciting, people react well to it. They want to win the money. You know $2,000 is a lot of money for them to win, for anyone to win. As well as give back to the community and give back to Rotary because Rotary does so much for the community and public schools. I think it is going to continue on. It is fun, it is a very fun thing to do in the winter time to spice up the winter months. I think it will keep on going and going.”

With the light winter this season, it is predicted that the car will sink earlier than previous years. If interested in participating in the contest head to RotaryIMK.org and place you bets.