The 2012 Sea Isle City Polar Bear plunge was yet another hit. This annual event reached its 18th consecutive season on February 18, 2012.
The plunge featured the usual thousands of bathers running into the very cold Atlantic Ocean waters. This follows a terrific costume contest. It is estimated that 50,000 other souls came out to support the event by watching the swimmers and participating in the numerous events surrounding the 2012 Polar Bear Plunge.
All in all I thought the plunge was again another big hit in Sea Isle City (SIC). The plungers ran into and out of the ocean to everyone’s delight. It hurts me (who never goes into the winter water) to watch these folks do this but they seem to love it. They all went in bravely and came out laughing, shivering and with skin as pink as a baby girl's bedroom.
The events surrounding the 2012 Polar Bear were as solid as usual. There were plenty of local and regional vendors selling various goods and food. There were plenty of police on hand who seemed to do a great job keeping things from getting out of hand without spoiling any of the fun.
The entire LaCosta campus was under a giant tent to accommodate thousands of people. Revelers swarmed there to watch the great bands, embrace the festivity and imbibe for a while.
JFK Plaza and a few blocks along Landis Avenue were blocked off from automobile traffic this year. This was the first year I’ve noticed them doing this. This really allowed things to feel more like a festival as the party continued on foot along Landis Avenue from JFK to just past Shoobies and The Ocean Drive.
For the second (or maybe the third or fourth… I’m losing track,) year in a row many of the local watering holes decided to cash in and participate with the fun. The Springfield, Ocean Drive, and Pour House were all open. I admit, I’m not sure if the Dead Dog was open. Kixx much further uptown was open as usual and Lobster Loft did the same. I was glad they welcomed customers for this event. It really helped to spread out the massive crowd and keep the bar populations throughout SIC manageable.
All in all I was thrilled with the event. If you spend much time at the shore during the summer months the Polar Bear Plunge gives you an opportunity to see a lot of familiar faces and catch up at the local establishments.
If I had one complaint about the plunge, I’d say it could use a few more porta potties but even with that said, I never really reached and ‘emergency level’ waiting in line to use the restrooms anywhere. If you guys in SIC could add a few more next year though, I’d be most happy.
Public Bathrooms along Beach in SIC
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