ATLANTIC CITY — A New Year’s tradition will go on as planned in the resort in “rain, sleet snow or hail,” organizers said, even as neighboring towns cancel or delay similar events due to concerns about temperature.
The 27th annual Polar Bear Plunge, which brings thousands of people to the Jersey Shore, is scheduled to begin at noon Monday in front of Resorts Casino Hotel.
“I’ve been doing this for 31 years, and we’ve gone in when it’s been like this … very cold,” said Michael Kahlenberg, who organizes the event. “I’d say 65 to 70 percent of the people who come to this are returners from previous years.”
Margate is the fourth South Jersey town to reschedule or cancel its New Year's Day polar plu…
The Polar Bear Plunge is a popular event in several countries around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Canada.
In the Netherlands, an estimated 30,000 people participate in plunges every year. In Scotland, the annual “Looney Dook” on New Year’s Day attracts thousands of people to dress up and act like “loonies” while they run toward the ocean in South Queensferry.
In New Jersey, several shore towns host plunges to bring people back to the area during the slow winter months.
This year, however, fewer South Jersey towns will host the event.
Earlier this week, New Year’s Day plunges in Ocean City and Ventnor were canceled because of extremely cold temperatures.
Brigantine postponed its plunge until Jan. 13.
And on Friday, a decision was made to postpone Monday’s Robert’s Place plunge in Margate until Jan. 7.
The weekend's forecasted cold weather has event organizers reconsidering several first day d…
Officials involved in the decision-making said the plunges were canceled with public safety in mind.
“Cold conditions are, of course, the idea of any polar plunge. But Ocean City’s event attracts about 1,000 people, many who may not be conditioned for the extreme temperatures expected this year,” said Doug Bergen, Ocean City’s public information officer.
Press of Atlantic City meteorologist Joe Martucci said South Jersey may experience record cold temperatures this weekend. Those frigid temperatures will likely continue until next weekend, he said, and he cautioned people that staying exposed in the cold or in the water could lead to serious medical conditions.
If you’re prepared to brave freezing air and chilling waters, chances are you’ll have fun kicking off 2018 by participating in a New Year’s Da…
“If your skin is exposed when it’s that cold, you could get frostbite after about 30 minutes,” he said. “The ocean water is about 38 degrees right now, so if you stay in that for more than 10 minutes, you could experience hypothermia.”
Still, the frigid temperatures won’t stop people from taking part in the annual New Year’s Day tradition in Atlantic City.
The plunge will be held in rain, sleet, snow or hail, according to a release from Resorts.
“I’ve never heard of a Polar Bear Plunge being canceled because it’s too cold, and I’ve been doing this for a really long time,” Kahlenberg said, adding this will be the last year he organizes the event. “I’m from Langhorne, Pennsylvania, and I come with 30-35 people every year. … It’s great to see a lot of returning people.”
Meanwhile, a smaller event, the sixth annual Penguin Plunge, will take place at the water near Caspian and Maine avenues to benefit the African-American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey. Admission is free, and T-shirts will be sold for $20.
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Polar Bear swimmers run from the surf after jumping into the ocean for a swim in Atlantic City on Thursday, Jan. 1, 1998. More than 150 members of the club braved the the chilly ocean temperature of 47 degrees for the annual event.
Don Lenox, of Morrisville, Pennsylvania, left, wears a diaper and hat as he portrays baby '1998' while addressing fellow Polar Bear swimmers before going into the ocean for a dip in Atlantic City on Thursday Jan. 1, 1998. More than 150 members of the club braved the 47-degree ocean temperature for the annual event.
Atlantic City Polar Bear Club members exit the water after taking a cold dip in the Atlantic Ocean in Atlantic City as part of their annual ritual to welcome in the New Year Friday, Jan. 1, 1999.
Atlantic City Polar Bear Club members enter the water to take a cold dip in the Atlantic Ocean in Atlantic City, as part of their annual ritual to welcome in the New Year, Friday, Jan., 1, 1999.
Sean Gramm, of Southampton, emerges from the surf victorious after taking part in the annual Sea Isle City Polar Plunge on Feb. 19, 2000.
Sea Isle City Director of Tourism Irene Jameson and daughter Jorene, back, get into the spirit of the plunge dressed in Polynesian attire Feb. 19, 2000.
Sea Isle City resident Ernie Marcacci is dressed in his finest during the city' s annual polar bear plunge Feb. 19, 2000.
Sea Isle City held it's annual Polar Bear Plunge Saturday, Feb. 17, 2001, with an estimated 500 hardy participants taking the dip. The $25 registration fee goes to help fund family activities in the city through the tourism department. Sea Isle City tourism director and Polar Bear Queen Irene Jameson arrived to the plunge in style on a throne of ice.
Members of the Atlantic City Polar Bear Club run into the Atlantic Ocean on their annual New Years's Day dip Monday, Jan. 1, 2001.
Members of the Atlantic City Polar Bear Club run into the Atlantic Ocean for their annual New Years's Day dip in Atlantic City on Monday Jan. 1, 2001.
Participants in the annual Ocean City Polar Bear Swim make the short dash for a plunge in the ocean Monday, Jan. 1, 2001.
Members of the Xi-Rho chapter of the Kappa Sigma fraternity at Stockton State College held their annual polar bear plunge at the north end of Brigantine on Saturday afternoon, March 1, 2003. Taking the plunge raised money for the American Cancer Society. That year's event honored Joseph D. Favole, who passed away from cancer in December 2002. Joseph was the father of fraternity brother Joe Favole.
More than 500 participants took part in the eighth annual Sea Isle City Polar Bear Plunge in the ocean off of JFK Boulevard to raise money for the family activities sponsored by the Sea Isle City Tourism Commission. Jim Rowland, of Maple Shade, dressed as the comic book superhero The Flash, which may also describe the amount of time it took for a plunger to enter and exit the ocean Feb. 16, 2002.
On March 9, 2002, Lisa Russo of Wildwood Crest, cheerfully emerges from the Wildwood Crest surf after participating in the Polar Plunge for Andrew Alameno, a Wildwood Crest native who was lost at the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001.
The eighth annual Sea Isle City Polar Bear Plunge took place on the beach at JFK Boulevard with more than 500 participants taking the icy dip to raise money for the family activities sponsored by the Sea Isle City Tourism Commission. Wearing his polar bear cap and a suit jacket, Keith Powers, of Exton, Pennsylvania, leaps over incoming waves as he take the plunge Feb. 16, 2002.
The ninth annual Sea Isle City Polar Bear Plunge was held Saturday, Feb. 15, 2003, on the 41st Street beach, with plungers putting their mettle to the test under true polar conditions. Hundreds of participants braved icy winds and a snow-covered beach to take a dip in the Atlantic to raise money for the Sea Isle City tourism program and gain some bragging rights. A couple takes to the ocean at the start of the plunge.
The ninth annual Sea Isle City Polar Bear Plunge was held Saturday, Feb. 15, 2003, on the 41st Street beach, with plungers putting their mettle to the test under true polar conditions. Arriving on her throne of ice, Irene Jameson, Sea Isle City public relations director, sported a Jersey Girl theme complete with a navel tomato.
Trudy Craney, of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, emerges victorious from the water during the polar ninth annual Sea Isle City Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2003.
Kathy Gennett of Huntington Valley, Pa., kicks back in the waves during the the ninth annual Sea Isle City Polar Bear Plunge at the 41st Street beach Saturday, Feb. 15, 2003.
Charlene Twiggs, of Ocean City, holds 5-year-old Maura Twiggs after their polar bear plunge Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2003. Ocean City's New Year's Day activities included with a race, live entertainment and the annual polar bear plunge between Eighth and Ninth streets.
About 150 warm-hearted people run into the 40-degree water during the polar bear plunge on New Year's Day 2004 off Albany Avenue in Atlantic City. The event, sponsored by the South Jersey Polar Bear Club, raised more than $2,000 for Make A Wish Foundation. It was also pegged as a celebration of Atlantic City's 150th birthday in 2004, with banners, shirts, balloons and the mayor as the starter of the run for the surf at exactly 1:50 p.m. to mark the 150th.
About 150 people run into the 40-degree water during the polar bear plunge on New Year's Day 2004 in Atlantic City. The event, sponsored by the South Jersey Polar Bear Club, raised over $2,000 for Make A Wish Foundation.
Charlie Stonaker, of Cinnaminson, rests in the 40-degree water during the polar bear plunge on New Year's Day 2004 off Albany Avenue in Atlantic City.
Sea Isle public relations Director Irene Jameson, 80, shows off her suit to fans at the Polar Bear Plunge in Sea isle City on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005.
The fifth annual Polar Plunge for Andrew was held Saturday, March 4, 2006 on the Jefferson Avenue Beach in Wildwood Crest, in memory of local resident Andrew Alameno, shown, who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
Diane Ramftl exits the cold ocean during the Polar Bear Plunge at the Boston Avenue beach in Atlantic City on Feb. 11, 2006. The plunge was sponsored by Unsuited Entertainment and benefited the Donald L. Perry Foundation for Cancer Research, an Atlantic City-based organization.
Children head into the chilly ocean during the fifth annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, March 4, 2006, in honor of Andrew Alameno, who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.
Jack Maurer, left, and Gary Stocker, both of Wildwood Crest, exit the ocean after a quick second plunge during the fifth annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, March 4, 2006, in honor of Andrew Alameno, who grew up in Wildwood Crest and died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.
A banner bearing the names of all who were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was displayed on the beach during the annual Polar Plunge for Andrew on the Jefferson Avenue beach in Wildwood Crest on Saturday, March 4, 2006. Mon. The event was held in memory of local resident Andrew Alameno, who was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center.
Barb Mancuso, of Deptford, charges into the ocean screaming on her first polar bear plunge. The tug of war was cancelled but the Polar Bear Swim went off between the rain drops in front of Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City on Monday Jan. 1, 2007.
Brian Farrell, of Atlantic City, gets pumped up about the polar bear plunge as he walks up Iowa Avenue in Atlantic City on Monday, Jan. 1, 2007.
Steve Cone, of Dorothy, gets the first feel of cold water as he runs into the ocean during the polar bear swim in front of Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City on Monday, Jan. 1, 2007.
Chuck Hicks, of Ocean City, came dressed as an Eagles fan for the annual Ocean City New Year's Day polar plunge on the beach at Eighth Street, north of the Music Pier, on Monday Jan. 1, 2007. A teeming rain didn't deter hundreds of participants from stripping down to their bathing suits to take the traditional dip in the ocean. The city also held a 5K run on the Boardwalk prior to the plunge. Both events were part of the Ocean City First Night celebration.
Jennifer Schofield, left, Stephanie Knauer, center, and Danielle Sindore brought their own palm tree to the annual Ocean City New Year's Day polar plunge on the beach at Eighth Street on Monday Jan. 1, 2007.
On March 1, 2008, in Wildwood Crest, Erin Lawler, 16, of Hockessin, Delaware, helps her 82-year-old grandmother Lucille Williams, of Newark, Delaware and Diamond Beach, during the seventh annual Polar Plunge for Andrew Alameno, a Wildwood Crest native who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.
Participants take part in the annual Sea Isle City Polar Bear Plunge at 40th and the beach on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008.
Royce Lawler, of Oceanview, is dressed as Santa as he and others exit the ocean at Brighton Avenue in Atlantic City on Jan. 1, 2008, during the annual Polar Bear Plunge. Atlantic City Moose Lodge No. 216 sponsored the annual event. Proceeds benefited the Make-A-Wish-Foundation.
Travis Spadafora, of Ocean City, is hoisted onto the shoulders of Ryan Warley, left, and Rob Kelly, both of Ocean City, as they exit the water and Travis's sister Tina Spadafora records the event during the polar plunge Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008.
Terri Hudson, 3, of Mays Landing, was one of the youngest participants in the Atlantic City Polar Bear Swim on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008, at the Brighton Avenue beach.
More than 500 people hit the frigid water and icy shoreline to participate in the third annual Wildwoods Polar Bear Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, raising $140,000 for the cause.
People wait in frigid temperatures to participate in the third annual Wildwoods Polar Bear Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009.
Alexa Jarvis, 10, with the Medford Township Police Team, warms up in a hot tub for a $5 donation for 5 minutes of warmth following a frigid plunge during the third annual Wildwoods Polar Bear Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009. More than 500 people participated, raising $140,000 for the cause.
People cheer in the ocean on Brighton Avenue in Atlantic City during the annual Atlantic City Polar Bear Plunge on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009. Atlantic City Moose Lodge 216 sponsored the annual event to benefit the Make-A-Wish-Foundation.
Don Ashenbrener, of Margate, keeps his head warm with a shark hat after a dip at the 16th annual Robert's Place Polar Plunge on the Margate beach at Essex Avenue on New Year's Day 2010. The event drew hundreds people to take a first dip in the ocean. The event benefited a local family.