It’s New Year’s Eve, and while there is plenty of partying to be done and fireworks shows to watch, it also means we’re just a day away from one of the best traditions in Brooklyn—the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge!
Now in its 115th year, the Plunge is an age-old boardwalk tradition, which raises money for the Coney Island community. It’s also a great way to kick off the new year, a bracing dip to shake off any cobwebs from 2018 and plunge into the future bright-eyed!
As always, the event is free, but individuals and teams must register to participate, and are strongly encouraged to fundraise. Online registration asks for a minimum donation of $25, but day-of registration is free.
Tomorrow’s event will take place at 1:00 pm sharp, but be sure to get there early for adequate time to check in before your mad dash to the freezing surf!
The weather will be overcast and in the 50s, according to the forecast, but with winds of around 20 mph, be sure someone’s on hand with a blanket (or two!) to help you wrap up after you emerge triumphant from the water.
Last year’s plunge went ahead despite a forecast of 20 degrees, with brave bathers ready to face the arctic blast for a good cause, raising $40,000. This year, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club is setting their sights on doubling that total, with a stated goal of $80,000.
The money raised in the 2019 event will support local charities and non-profits, like the Alliance for Coney Island, New York Aquarium, Coney Island USA, Coney Island History Project and various arts and community organizations.
Wondering what it’s like to dive in? A couple years back, one of Bklyner’s own writers participated and wrote about his icy experience.