Here’s a great, fun way to brrring in 2018 – on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, dive into Puget Sound at the annual Polar Bear Plunge, starting at Noon in the 3400 block of 172nd SW Street (map below) in Burien’s Three Tree Point neighborhood!
This annual New Year’s Day tradition will continue with crisp and refreshing saltwater, along with all the usual fun that make this the perfect way to start the new year (and perhaps cure a hangover).
One of the more festive parts of this community event is the awarding of the Polar Bear Plunge champion trophy – which consists of a Polar Bear figure on a piece of driftwood – chosen during the event by regulars and previous award-winners.
TIP: usually, the “most exuberant” plunger wins, but recently some very creative, fully costumed plungers have taken home the prize.
The winner of the 2017 Polar Bear Plunge award was Andy McCurdy of Auburn, who took home the prize after showing much exuberance – both in and out of the cold water – while wearing a Seahawks-themed Luche Libre mask:
Here are some videos from last year, starting with a great one shot and edited by Cameron Johnson, a proud grad of Highline High School and freelance videographer from Burien:
The 2017 Three Tree Point Polar Bear Plunge  from Cameron Johnson Video  on Vimeo .
And here’s a point-of-view GoPro video of former South King Media Intern Sterling Smith, who braved the waters in costume as a Baby New Year (along with Father Time of course); be sure to watch the slow-mo replay closely for the hilarious faces made as the cold water hits:
If snowflakes are indeed falling on your bare skin – then the 40-45 degree Puget Sound will feel like jumping into a hot tub!
Here are some Hints and Safety Tips:
- Dress Up in costume to add whimsy (and perhaps win the big prize!)
- Come early, as parking is limited. Carpool or come by boat!
- Anyone with heart problems should consult your health care provider before participating. If you don’t participate, you’re still welcome to join and watch.
- Do Not Drink. Alcohol – it does not warm you up; it accelerates hypothermia.
- Do Not Stay In The Water Longer Than 15 Minutes. Body heat is lost 30 times faster in the water than in air.
- Keep Your Outer Clothing On until swim time and remove any wet clothing before getting back into dry clothes. Bring big dry towels to warm up after you plunge!
- Have Fun!
Check out our extensive prior Polar Bear Plunge coverage here .