Spark the Season with Johnsonville & Chicago Polar Plunge

People in Chicago LOVE spring and summer and LOVE to do good for others. What better way to “spark the season” than with the world’s largest grill and the Chicago Polar Plunge? It’s been a mild winter, but spring is still a ways off. If folks are willing to jump in Lake Michigan, we should be ready to fire up the grill. Right?

The Big Taste Grill will be on tour from April to November. They kicked off the season here at the Polar Plunge!

Johnsonville invited me to kick off the season with them as sponsors of the Chicago Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics. They figured if people are willing to jump in the freezing lake for a great cause, they should grill them up some great brats! Johnsonville fired up the world’s largest grill and gave out free brats for several hours to warm folks up and get them excited for the grilling season ahead.

Urlacher (l) took his job seriously. The plunging chefs (r) not so much!

Johnsonville was joined by the Chicago Bears’ Brian Urlacher. Urlacher was very hands on in making the brats and serving them to Polar Plunge participants.

There was an awesome crowd and the bag pipers were in the water, too!

Liv and I checked out the plunge kick-off and then enjoyed the energy and costumes of the plungers. It was an amazing turn out with over 5,000 plungers and over 1.5 million dollars raised! How awesome is that?

Are you psyched for spring and summer grilling? Enter to win Johnsonville’s #FirstBrats Contest. Go to First Brats Contest (starting March 8 at 12:00 PM EST – I’ll remind you!). The contest runs through May 15, 2017. There are two ways to enter:

  • Online – From 3/8 – 5/15, go to First Brats Contest and enter your email address to register. After registering, take a photo of your “first grill of the season” and upload it.
  • Social Media – follow @Johnsonville on Twitter or @jvillesausage on Instagram. Post a tweet/post that includes a photo of your “first grill of the season” with the hashtag #FirstBratsContest. You can also log onto Facebook and go to Johnsonville’s page and post a comment that includes a photo of his/her “first grill of the season” and the hashtag #FirstBratsContest.

One grand prize winner will receive snow removal or lawn care for a year ($1,500 value) and fourteen first prize winners will receive a $100 grocery coupon code and a Johnsonville prize pack. Photos will be judged by a panel of judges selected by Johnsonville. They will score the photos based on creativity, photo quality and relevance to the contest theme (think – grilling whatever the weather!). Limit one prize per person. One entry per day per channel. Full rules will be available on March 8 at First Brats Contest.

In the meantime, keep up with Johnsonville on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The Big Taste Grill will be on the road from April to November. Keep a look out or check the schedule here. You can donate to the Chicago Polar Plunge to support Special Olympics HERE.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.



  1. Jeffrey says:

    Did you take the plunge?

  2. Georgette Coan says:

    Oh, man..I heard about this on XRT but didn’t end up going…I LOVE Urlacher AND brats, but no way was I doing the plunge this year! Lol

  3. Amber Ludwig says:

    SO psyched for spring and summer grilling!! That’s so awesome how many plungers and how much money they raised!! I wouldn’t have plunged either lol…. I am ALWAYS cold anyways!

  4. Tamra Phelps says:

    I see people take the Polar Plunge every year & I just think, ‘NOPE!.” LOL, it is for a good cause usually, though. I love Johnsonville sausages!

  5. BRANDI DAWN says:

    Wow! What a grill! This looks like a great cause. I do not thing that I could take that plunge thought. Cold water is scary!!!

  6. ellen beck says:

    I see people doing this plunge on TV and about want to curl up and fall apart. Living in Iowa I know Chicago is COLD although it was as you mentioned very warm this year. I have seen the Johnsonville grill- that thing is massive!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *