- Thousands flocked to New York’s Coney Island beach to jump into the frigid Atlantic Ocean for the 115th Polar Bear Club New Year’s Day Plunge.
- Over 3,600 people participated in the event, which raised over $US55,000 for charity.
- The event is held to raise money for a more sustainable, cleaner environment.
Every New Year’s Day, thousands of brave people dive into the freezing waters off Coney Island for the Polar Plunge. Participants from all over the world flock to the New York beach for the annual tradition and ring in the new year while bathing in icy cold waters.
This year, the event celebrated its 115th year with a balmy 59 degrees outside, but the waters were still a chilly 45 degrees – and the shock of the cold water can be seen on every participant’s face.
Keep scrolling to see what it’s like to take the Polar Plunge.
The Polar Plunge starts on the Coney Island boardwalk where thousands gather dressed in wild costumes.
The crowd eventually makes its way to the beach and immediately runs for the chilly water.
For almost every participant, the first dip is the coldest.
And it’s easy to tell from many of their cringing faces.
The waters reached 45 degrees on New Year’s Day this year.
But that didn’t stop anyone from enjoying the winter waters.
One woman said, “You just lose all feeling. I came out with one shoe and didn’t know till maybe 10 minutes later.”
Source: New York Post
Every wave of frigid water was a reminder of the water’s frigid temperatures.
But that didn’t stop thousands of people from jumping right into the ocean.
In fact, over 3,600 people registered to take the Polar Plunge.
And every one of them seemed to enjoy the chilly fun.
The tradition started over 115 years ago, and has been enticing brave adventurers since.
The Coney Island Polar Bear Club has been hosting the event on Coney Island since 1903.
While the event is free, the Polar Bear Club does ask for a small donation.
All proceeds go to help the Coney Island community by creating a more sustainable and cleaner environment.
The Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year’s Day Plunge is meant to help the community, which has a 30% poverty rate since the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
This year’s donations were given to the New York Aquarium, Alliance for Coney Island, Coney Island USA, and the Coney Island History Project.
This year, participants raised $US55,044 for charity.
Source: Coney Island Polar Bear Club
The Polar Plunge is also a special way to enjoy New York’s natural beaches.
But the most important part of the Polar Plunge is to have fun.
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