North Beach Polar Bear Plunge New Years Day 2018
Preparing to plunge

North Beach, MD – A New Year’s Day tradition was tested by the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the air chill that has brutalized the fully clothed citizens of the Mid-Atlantic region. Despite the challenges, the annual North Beach Polar Bear Plunge was a splashing success and 2018 has officially arrived.

A woman dressed in a red winter coat tested the water 15 minutes prior to the 1 p.m. plunge. After affirming she was taking the plunge she was asked why. “It’s crazy. I’m crazy,” was her reply.

“It’s fun,” shrieked a young female member of the Calvert Aquatic Club when asked why she was plunging for the third time.

Members of the Starnes family from Owings—Braden and Keely, mom Richelle and family friend Abigail Garcia, all admitted quickly that they had considered skipping their annual ritual of participating in the plunge but decided to wade in anyway. When the family moved from Florida to Calvert County they decided the Polar Bear Plunge would be a family tradition.

North Beach Mayor Mark Frazer announced the water temperature at 23 degrees.
All plungers were required to sign a waiver indemnifying the town. For those who paid the plunge fee, a souvenir T-shirt was given. The fee proceeds of the 2018 North Beach Polar Bear Plunge will go to benefit the Twin Beach Players. The troupe will be observing its 20th anniversary season this year. Planned productions include Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, Shakespeare’s A Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Mark Scharf’s The Time Machine and a Yuletide presentation of It’s a Wonderful Life. This year the Twin Beach Players will also host its 13th annual Kids’ Playwriting Festival.

While Mid-Atlantic locations like North Beach went ahead with their New Year’s Day plunges—New York City and Ocean City, MD held their events—several plunges planned in places like Rhode Island and Chicago opted to cancel.

Contact Marty Madden at