Coney Island Polar Bears - New Years Day
The Coney Island Polar Bear Swim Club New Years Day Swim was voted #1 by Reuters by their Top Ten Travel Picks To Usher in The New Year (http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE4BP19Y20081226).
The CI Polar Bears is the oldest winter swim club in the US. The New YEars Day Dip 2009 is to raise money for Camp Sunshine. Camp Sunshine provides respite, support, joy and hope to children with life-threatening illnesses and their immediate families through various stages of a child’s illness. The year-round program is free of charge to all families, and includes 24-hour onsite medical and psychosocial support. Bereavement groups are also offered for families who have lost a child to an illness. To make a donation on line visit: www.freezinforareason.com
The New Years Day Swim is a full day of gathering on the Coney Island Boardwalk with DJ's playing music - folk singers - people in costumes celebrating the new year. 12pm Sharp is the Strongman Show. Steve Ekstance who recently pulled a dumptruck by his teeth and dead lifted 1000 lbs. At 1 pm the "Big Plunge" takes place with thousands of people running down the beach to the water. Some polar bears actually stay in the water for a good 20 minutes and swim laps (they do this every sunday). Others just run in for a few minutes. The water temp is cuurently a chilling 41 degrees. The forecast for new years day in NY is sunny, winds gusting to 40 mph and temp at 14 with wind chill -2. Ruby's Bar & Grill on the boardwalk will be open from 10 am - ??? so if it gets to cold outside come on in and have a Irish Coffee.
More information on the Polar Bears: www.polarbearsclub.org
The New Years Day Polar Bear Swim in Coney Island was a huge success with fridige temps of -3 with wind chill. King Neptune was joined by 700 brave men, women and children for the annual rush to the water. Some were not to eager to jump in and had to be gently coaxed will others couldn't wait to get wet. Some bears said the y were froxen while others commented it was really resfreshing for them. The swim lasted about 45 minutes with most exiting the water after 20 minutes.