Sure, it will likely be dark, rainy, and soaked through on Friday, but if there was ever a year to try a polar bear jump, it could be.
“Why not? We’ve been through so much,” said Kitsap County’s Athena Cole, contemplating her very first jump, a New Years Day in cold water.
Cole said she always looked in admiration at the people taking part in the feat, but didn’t think she could do it.
“There have been so many things this year that used to be scary that I think I can do them now,” she said.
Although many of the places that organized the falls in the past that saw people submerged in icy water on January 1st are not officially hosting this year, there are still plenty of places where it can get cold and wet .
Seattle Parks and Recreation, which has seen several thousand attendees at Matthews Beach for the past few years, said this year’s event will be virtual but will be “fantastic and fun.”
Although it’s too late to sign up for the city’s DIY dive kit, the department invites people to take their “leap” by filling their bathtubs with cold water, using their garden hoses, or even an icy shower as a safe alternative to larger bodies take water.
The traditional event takes place in West Seattle, but with significant changes. Mainly, participants are asked to spread out in several places along the beach and to go into the water in small numbers.
The Lake Sammamish Polar Plunge group won’t be together this year, but instead invites people to participate virtually with pools, buckets, hoses and bathtubs and email a picture to [email protected] to have the chance get to win a neck seal.
In addition, Lake Sammamish State Park is open all day and free.
In Kirkland, the organizers posted with the start time at Marina Park, saying it would be more of an open house this year, with the hope that people would hang out all day and post pictures on social media with the #kirklandplunge hashtag.
The tide will be at 6:46 a.m. and 4:33 p.m.
However, in Seattle Parks and Recreation, caution should be exercised if you decide to jump:
- Don’t jump in the cold water if you have heart problems.
- Avoid alcohol before and during the immersion as it can accelerate hypothermia.
- Take off your soaked clothing as soon as possible.
- Maintain social distance and wear a face mask.
- Keep your diving group for people in your family or quarantine bubble.
Here is the city’s flyer for the virtual polar bear dive: