The icy swim meet on Jan 1st of each year is often called “The Polar Plunge”. It is often thought that this event means that if you survive the icy waters that you can meet any challenge that comes your way in the New Year.
The plunge has been held over 100 years in different countries of the world. It is sometimes held for charity and sometimes just for fun.
The first recorded polar plunge in the U.S. was in Boston in 1904….BRRR… Polar Bear Swim Clubs began springing up in the 1920s. The largest polar plunge in the U.S. is the “plungapalooza” held annually in Sandy Point State Park in Maryland. It attracts thousands each year and is a benefit for the Special Olympics. The largest “plunge” in the world is a resort city in the Netherlands and has more than 1,000 participants each year.
Tybee Island’s own 19th annual Polar Plunge will be on January 1, 2019 at the Tybee Island Pier & Pavilion. The actual plunge is 12pm-2pm. The brave will start gathering around 10am. Get your friends together and come as a “theme”! There is a contest at 11am called the Gang of Goofs.
This event is not for the faint of heart. Here are a few guidelines for the participants…
~Have a towel & dry clothes ready or have a friend hold them close to shore.
~Enter the water slowly, as the icy water will increase your heart & blood pressure.
~If you tend to panic, do not participate.
~After coming out of the water, drink a hot beverage or have a cup of soup to stabilize the body temperature from the inside out.
The proud sponsor of the event is the Tybee Post Theater.
Author: S. Clark Faulkenberry