Nothing screams “Hello, new year!” like jumping in frigid water with hundreds of strangers, everyone thinking some version of “What was I thinking!?”
There are dozens of polar bear events in South Carolina on Jan. 1. The beach versions are among the best-attended, but the craziness also migrates inland all the way to the mountain lakes. Some are fundraisers and require registration and fees to get official T-shirts. Others are just for fun.
Here are a few choices if you want to start your year with a cold jolt:
Folly Beach: Freeze Your Bills Off, participants encouraged to dress as their favorite Bill Murray character, proceeds from T-shirt sales go to Surfer’s Healing, www.visitfolly.com, 11 a.m.
Sullivan’s Island: Polar Bear Plunge, fundraiser for South Carolina Special Olympics, Dunleavy’s Pub, www.dunleavyspubpolarplunge.com, 2 p.m.
Kiawah Island: Polar Bear Plunge, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, www.kiawahresort.com/holidays-at-kiawah, noon
Hunting Island: Pelican Plunge, proceeds go to Friends of Hunting Island, which backs state park programs, Hunting Island State Park, www.friendsofhuntingisland.org, 1 p.m.
Salem: Loon Lunge, one of several First Day events at Devils Fork State Park, including a 5K Run and nature hikes, www.southcarolinaparks.com, events begin at 10 a.m.
Anderson: Deer Dip, jump in Lake Hartwell, get back out quickly, Sadlers Creek State Park, www.southcarolinaparks.com, 1 p.m.