Best Of – Polar Bear Plunges: The Coolest Events on the Eastern Shore
While most of us like to snuggle up under heavy sweaters or blankets when the weather gets cold, some more adventurous folks enjoy diving right into the frigid temperatures. For those you of who are cold weather lovers, suit up and dive head first into a variety of polar bear plunges around the Eastern Shore this season. These chilly events encourage individuals to go for a swim in one of our many coastal waterways in an effort to promote exercise and to support a good cause.
December 14, 2013
Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Resort-100 Heron Blvd, Cambridge, MD
This weekend the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Resort in Cambridge is hosting their annual Santa Swim. Plunge into the Choptank on Saturday morning in support of the Care and Share Fund of Dorchester County. This organization’s goal is to strengthen the community in a number of different ways. Some of their outreach includes helping vulnerable adults to continue to live safe and healthy lives in their own homes, helping to pay utilities such as gas, water, and electricity due to financial circumstances, and helping those combating homelessness.
Each participant will receive a Santa hat before taking the plunge. Fundraising teams may choose to swim together or pick a captain to compete for first prize trophies in the categories of individual, team, organization (i.e., fraternal, auxiliary, church, etc.), and business. After the race, designated elves will be waiting with towels to help the swimming Santas dry off and warm up. A post-race celebration complete with hot food and drinks will be provided by the Regency Hyatt as the perfect way to warm back up.
January 1, 2014
Princess Royale Hotel-9100 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842
Atlantic General Hospital (hosting organization) 410-641-9858
This New Year’s Day, ring in 2014 by participating in the 20th Annual Penguin Swim. Pull on your swimsuit, Halloween costume, or any other outfit you prefer and join the crowds as they plunge into the cold water. By participating in this event, swimmers will be supporting the Atlantic General Hospital while splashing around in the frigid waves. Entertainment will include performances by Frankie the trick pony and an ice throne created by ice sculptor Eric Cantine for frosty photo ops. The Shore Birds mascot Sherman will also be on the scene, cheering on participants.
There is also a virtual swim for those who are out of town for the New Year but would still like to participate. To join in the fun, simply fundraise as a group or individual, take a picture of yourself in another body of water, and share your photo on Facebook or Twitter at #OCPenguinSwim.
January 25, 2014
Sandy Point State Park-1100 E College Pkwy, Annapolis, MD 21409
If you live on the northern part of the Eastern Shore near the Bay Bridge, or you and your family are traveling to the Western shore, than join in the frigid fun at the MSP Polar Bear Plunge. Taking place on the Shores of Sandy Point State Park, this icy swim supports the Special Olympics of Maryland. This well-known organization provides year-round sports training and athletic competition, in a variety of sports for people with intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics gives intellectually disabled members an opportunity to stay active, compete, and meet other people that they may not otherwise have accessibility to.
For this charitable and fun event, participants can judge how far in the water they want to plunge. According to the Polar Bear Plunge “Some (plungers) choose to go all the way under, while others only go ankle-deep. Either way, they are all Plungers in our book!” The plunge at Sandy Point also includes a Police Plunge, for law enforcement to dodge the crowds and jump in a day early. For those true polar bears, there is the Super Plunge where participants raise extra money and enter the water a total of 24 times throughout the day. This event was started in 2004 “to show those sitting at home that they could come out to the park and plunge at least once.” Between each of the 24 plunges, those participating will receive meals, presentations, and an assortment of entertainment.
While you may not find us plunging into the waters at any of these events, we will definitely be on the scene to show our support (with a mug of hot coffee in hand). For those of you preparing for your plunge, good luck with your swim and start fundraising today!