Sea Isle Polar Bear Plunge

Join the tens of thousands heading to Sea Isle City this weekend for the resort's annual Polar Bear Plunge Weekend, taking place Friday, Feb. 15, through Sunday, Feb. 17.

The weekend includes a series of contests that will determine the 2013 Polar Bear "Royal Family" on Friday and an inspiring Polar Bear Run & Walk for Autism on Sunday. Saturday events include a costume contest, vendors market, parade and the plunge itself on Sea Isle's JFK Boulevard Beach.

Saturday's activities will kick off at 10 a.m. under the festival's heated Family Tent, located at the LaCosta Complex at JFK Boulevard and Landis Avenue. The Family Tent will feature merchants, free face painting, balloon artists and stiltwalkers. Comedian Big Daddy Graham will emcee the annual costume contest under the tent at noon. The plunge, pictured right, begins at 2 p.m. on the JFK Boulevard Beach.

Polar Bear Costume Contest participants can register on the day of the event at LaCosta Complex. Only officially registered plungers will be permitted to compete in the costume contest. Contestants will be judged in several categories, including individuals, groups, families and best of show.

Mike's Seafood sponsors the annual Polar Bear 5K Run / 1.5-Mile Walk for Autism, raising funds for autism research, awareness and family services. The run and walk begin 12:30 p.m. Sunday at JFK Boulevard and the Promenade. Registration is $25 for walkers and $30 for runners.

Download an official form at www.mikesseafood.com. The fee to register for the Polar Bear Plunge is $25 per person. Fee includes a 2013 Polar Bear T-shirt and wristband for access to JFK Boulevard Beach during the plunge. Plungers are reminded to enter the ocean only on the protected beach at JFK Boulevard, where members of Sea Isle's Beach Patrol and other first-responders will be positioned. All participants must be 12 or older.

To download a plunge registration form, go to www.lacosta-seaisle.com. Plungers can also register in person inside at La Costa Complex between 6 and 9 p.m. Friday and between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m Saturday. Call 609-263-3756 or go to www.seaislecitynj.us.