Marie McAden



Take a polar plunge in South Carolina

Posted 12/24/2013 11:13:00 AM

Try something new this New Year. Take a swim in the ocean or an icy mountain lake. No, seriously.

The time-honored tradition — concocted by our fun-loving neighbors to the north — has become a states-side rite of New Year’s Day. Here in South Carolina, we’ve got our own special version of Canada’s popular “polar bear plunge” planned for Jan. 1.

Hunting Island’s Sixth Annual Pelican Plunge takes place at 1 p.m. at Hunting Island State Park near Beaufort. If dunking yourself in the 54-degree waters of the Atlantic Ocean isn’t crazy enough, participants are encouraged to wear costumes when they do it.

Chimenea fires and hot chocolate will be provided for plungers following their chilly surf swim. The festivities also will include a costume parade, a game of “Simon Says” and a kazoo hum-along.

Proceeds raised by the event benefit the state park’s “Discover Carolina” education programs. Participants are encouraged to solicit pledges prior to the Pelican Plunge. The swimmer raising the most money wins a grand prize.

Registration is on site the day of the event. For a pledge form, click here.

Want to take it up a notch? Dive into the frosty waters of the Upstate’s Lake Hartwell. The mass immersion, cleverly called a “Deer Dip”, takes place from 1 to 2 p.m. at Sadlers Creek State Park in Anderson. Dippers fee is $5. You’ll need to register for this one by Dec. 27. Click here for more information. To sign up for the event, call the park at (864) 226-8950.