Thousands of people will hit the beach in Annapolis this weekend for the 2019 Maryland State Polar Bear Plunge.
Here are a few things you need to know:
1. When is it? Actually, this year’s Polar Bear Plunge officially started last weekend with super plungers — those who take the dip for 24 hours — but continues Thursday with “Cool Schools” groups, Thursday with corporate plungers, and culminates Saturday when hundreds dip into the Chesapeake Bay in separate group plunges over the course of hours. Saturday also includes a PeeWee and Family Plunge event.
2. How old do you have to be to Plunge? Anyone can participate. Those under 18 require parent or guardian signature. Alcohol is permitted in limited areas, but plungers must be 21 or older to purchase drink vouchers in the Ice Lodge throughout the day. BTW, tailgating is allowed, but tailgaters must follow the rules and regulations as outlined by the Maryland Park Service.
3. Is it too late to register? No. You can register on-site on Saturday for the main plunges, and also online here. If you’re already signed up, you can pick up your information packet Thursday at the Special Olympics Maryland office at 3701 Commerce Drive, Suite 103, Halethorpe.
4. How do I get there? The plunge takes place at the shoreline of Sandy Point State Park on the Chesapeake Bay, just north of the Bay Bridge. There are satellite parking locations with shuttle services. The Plunge website has information on parking, as well as handicapped parking.
5. Where does the money go? The Maryland State Police are doing this for the 21st year, and have set a goal of $2.5 million in fundraising for Special Olympics Maryland.
6. What’s the weather going to be like? According to the National Weather Service, Friday will be mostly sunny, with a high near 38 degrees. Saturday will be partly sunny, with a high near 33 degrees with light and variable wind, gusting as high as 22 mph. (There are large heated changing tents for men and women, by the way.)