Polar Bear attendees encouraged to use Ocean Avenue trolley

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If the thought of running into icy ocean waves Jan. 1 leaves you cold, you can always bundle up warmly and come to view the year's costume contest entries. If the thought of running into icy ocean waves Jan. 1 leaves you cold, you can always bundle up warmly and come to view the year's costume contest entries. BRIGANTINE - Between 12,000 and 15,000 people are expected to attend the annual Brigantine Polar Bear Plunge, the island’s biggest New Year’s Day party and one of its iconic events.

Traffic is expected to be heavy as those attendees attempt to join others at 14th Street and the beach.

Organizers of the Plunge are encouraging the use of a free trolley which will run between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“The trolley will run up and down Ocean Avenue from the 34th Street parking lot up to 8th Street, where it will go to the parking lot at St. Thomas’s and then around 9th,” said co-founder John Hand. “The trolley is being sponsored by the Brigantine Chamber of Commerce and it is truly appreciated.”

Themed costumes have always been one of the best parts of the Polar Bear Plunge. This year’s costume contest has three categories: best group, funniest and most original.

Contestants must register for the event in front of the Laguna Grill at 14th Street. Registration starts at 10:30 a.m.

Costume contestants must be present at the after party to win. Costume contest participants are not required to take the plunge. Prizes will also be awarded to the oldest and youngest veterans who participate in the plunge.

The event starts at 11 a.m. Swimmers enter the water at noon.

It will be followed by a party at the 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.

The “Plunge” raises money for the Fisher House Foundation – a charity that serves wounded military members and their families.

There is a Brigantine Polar Bear Facebook page and a new www.BrigantinePolarBear.com  website. Donations for Fisher House can be accepted by clicking on the donation button on the website.


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