Marie McAden



Plunge into the New Year

Posted 12/27/2012 11:57:00 AM

For reasons I cannot fathom, it has become a New Year’s Day tradition for otherwise sane human beings to jump into freezing cold water and make like polar bears. Never mind our species does not come equipped with three inches of blubber and a dense insulating coat of fur.

Personally, I would much prefer to sit by a roaring campfire and stuff my face with toasted marshmallows. But for those of you crazier than I am, three South Carolina state parks will be hosting the time-honored polar ice capades Jan. 1.

At Hunting Island’s Fifth Annual Pelican Plunge, set from 1 to 2 p.m., participants will hop, skip or run into the 54-degree waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Brrrrrr.

The event will include beach-side warm-ups, a costume parade and kazoo songs. Chimenea fires and hot beverages will await swimmers coming out of the surf.

Donations will benefit the state park’s “Discover Carolina” education programs. Participants are encouraged to solicit pledges prior to the event. The swimmer raising the most money wins a grand prize. All participants will receive an “I Took the Plunge” sticker and commemorative T-shirts will be for sale at the park store.

Sadlers Creek State Park is holding its inaugural Deer Dip (it gets extra points just for the name) from 1 to 2 p.m. in the nippy Lake Hartwell. Dippers fee is $5.

You can expect chillier waters for the Polar Plunge in the Upstate’s Paris Mountain State Park. The mass dunking into Lake Placid takes place at 1:13 p.m.

If you really want to up your mad-meter, do it in a costume. Prizes will be awarded for the best getups. The $30 fee to participate benefits the Paris Mountain State Park Friends.