Brigantine locals look forward to costume contest Jan. 1

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BRIGANTINE - The biggest party of the year in Brigantine – the annual Polar Bear Plunge on Wednesday, Jan. 1 – includes a contest that’s perfect for anyone who isn’t ready to take a chilly dip in the ocean.

This year’s costume contest has three categories for participants: Best Group, Funniest and Most Original. And although anyone can run into the cold surf if they feel like it, costume contest participants are not required to take the plunge.

Contestants must register for the event between 10:30 and 11 a.m. in front of the Laguna Grill at 14th Street, and must be present at the after party to win. Prizes will also be awarded to the oldest and youngest veterans who participate in the plunge.

The event will start at 11 a.m., with swimmers hitting the water at noon. It will be followed by the party at Laguna Grill, where there will be an open buffet available for $10. Music will be provided by the Mott’s Creek Pickers.

Organizers are planning a bonfire on the beach for plunge participants.

Last year’s Polar Bear Plunge drew more than 9,000 people with an estimated 1,000 swimmers. This year, organizers expect between 12,000 and 15,000 people to attend.

The annual plunge raises money for the Fisher House Foundation – a charity that serves wounded military members and their families. Last year, the plunge raised more than $40,000 and this year the goal is $50,000.

The popular 2014 Polar Bear Plunge hooded sweatshirts, long-sleeved T-shirts and other items can be purchased Saturday and Sunday in front of Ace Hardware. Or you can call Tricia Cosgrove at 267-347-0179 who is running a Polar Bear Plunge store out of her house.

There is a Brigantine Polar Bear Facebook page and a new website. Donations for Fisher House can be made via the donation button on the website.

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