History of the Polar Bear Plunge

The Polar Bear Plunge, arguably Sea Isle’s most famous event of the year, is set to take place on Saturday, February 14. It’s an event filled with wacky costumes, live music, and tons of fun. The plunge is a great event for the town of Sea Isle. For one, it gets thousands of people down the shore in the off-season to kick their winter blues, and all proceeds benefit city wide events sponsored by the Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization. But have you ever wondered about the history behind the Plunge? Why do thousands of people flock to the beach in frigid temperatures to take a dip in the freezing water? Well, it begins back in 1995 with one woman’s vision.

Plunge History

It all started when a member of the Tourism Commission of Sea Isle, Dr. Irene Jameson, decided that a February plunge could be a way to boost tourism in the normally desolate winter months down the shore. In February 1995, Irene and a small group of family, friends, and tourism officials took the plunge in 35 degree water in front of a small crowd of spectators. Afterwards, they went to LaCosta to grab a beer and keep warm!

Every year since the original plunge, the crowds got larger and larger, and costumes eventually became a staple. Starting at the age of 70 in 1995, Irene took the plunge every year until 2007. Now, the designated “Polar Bear Queen” is an enthusiastic spectator. The event, which attracts thousands of tourists each year, continues the tradition of warming yourself afterwards with a beer at LaCosta. Now, there’s tons of live music and entertainment to be had.

Make sure to sign up for this year’s plunge, and register at this site to reserve your space for the plunge today!

Sources: Seaisletimes.com and NJ.com

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