Annual Polar Bear Plunge set for 1st Jan at noon

January 1st, 2010 - 7:53 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Tybee, Jan 1 (THAINDIAN NEWS) A ‘dare’ by 5 guys 10 years ago has now grown into a tradition that it being celebrated across the world. The annual Polar Bear Plunge is an event, which sends the shivers up the spine of most of the viewers, is set for today, the 1st of January, at noon.

“It’s cleansing,” said organizer Don Ernst. “Wash off the old year and start a new one. The water on New Year’s Day usually measures in the 50s. It’s pretty chilling, I’m probably the first one out,” he said. The organizers also hand out many trophies and prizes like one of the ‘Best Gang of Goofs’. They encourage interesting costumes and unique innovative hats too. “The greatest part is just seeing all the kids out there having fun with their families,” Ernst said. “At the end of the day my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.”

These cold-water plunges are usually held to raise money for charity, or to celebrate the New Year or just for fun. The largest event is called Plungapalooza, which is sponsored by the Maryland State Police. The almost nude body-icing event is held in Maryland’s Sandy Point Park to raise funds for the Special Olympics.

The annual polar bear plunge is not a singular event, as the dare-devil polar bear plunge participants come from all walks of life, and from all parts of the world just to participate in the event for the thrill of it.

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