Join the Polar Bears

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What Are You Doing New Year’s Day?

If you’ve never attended the Polar Bear Jump or Plunge or Dip, terminology varies, you’ve missed some quintessential Fort Myers Beach fun. There’s still time to join the fun this year. Wednesday, January 1, Noon to 5pm at the Outrigger, with the march to the water at about 2:30pm. Park at Charley’s Boat House across Estero or take the trolley, walk or ride your bike.

Hundreds of fun-seekers, including families, visitors and residents, most in costume, gather to share a cold beverage, dance, listen to music and just enjoy the celebration of a brand new year. Reminder – this is a family-friendly event, so keep that in mind with the costumes, please. It’s also a fundraiser for Jesse Loudermilk, Islander and server at Pinchers Tiki Bar on the beach. He’s been dealing with cancer for several years, so while you’re at the party, stop by the silent auction tables and buy some raffle tickets. Let’s make his life a bit easier.

Footwear optional.

Here’s how it works: Most folks arrive between noon and 1pm. Smokin’ Bill & the Smokin’ Section, plus Meagan Rose, will be playing in the tiki hut. Grab some food or drink. Mingle with the crowd. Take photos of the funny costumes. About 2:30pm, the officially unofficial leaders of this annual gathering of Polar Bears will call the gathering to order and attempt to herd people to the Gulf, whilst singing the Polar Bear anthem, which may or may not be suitable for a family newspaper. Once at the shoreline, someone is appointed to “cut a hole in the ice” so the temperature of the water can be taken. But first, he usually must remove his boa as saltwater and feathers do not mix well. Finally, it’s time for all Polar Bears to welcome the New Year with a Polar Bear Dip, Plunge or Jump, whatever reflects your personal style. Just go for it.

After that it’s back to the tiki to warm up and enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Any questions, call Ed, official Polar Bear Public Information Officer, at 917-501-3698.