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Pair of Polar Bear Plunge events kick off 2014

Jan 10th, 2014 | 0

Story by JEFFREY POWELL
All over the world hardy, brave, and some might say a little crazy, people begin their new year with a swim in their local waters. In the northern hemisphere this can be a real challenge with cool to very cold water temperatures prevailing.
Walton County is no exception to this yearly ritual and for the first time ever swimmers could choose from two polar bear plunge events. The first plunge took place behind Watorcolor Inn with a very large crowd estimated to be close to 200 gathering for the 9 a.m. swim. Approximately half of those in attendance took to the Gulf of Mexico. Mercifully, temperatures were moderate and wave conditions allowed for a safe swim, albeit a short one for most. Last year red flag conditions forced swimmers into the pool.
“We hold this event every year so that our guests and owners can come together and have some fun. This event brings everyone together and they all seem to love it,” said Watercolor Sales and Marketing Coordinator Elisabeth Stone. “It is a great way to start the new year and set the pace for the coming year. We are very happy with the turnout, this is one of our largest crowds ever.”
The second event was the inaugural South Walton Fire District Polar Bear Plunge held at the Ed Walline public beach access in Santa Rosa Beach. Although not as well attended there was no shortage of enthusiasm among the swimmers, several of which were in costume.
“My daughter brought up the subject of attending the event and I thought if we are going to go we might as well get in,” said Kay Evans of Riverview, Fla. “This is a good way to start off the new year and I can check it off my bucket list.”
Both organizations are already planning their respective 2015 plunges.

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