Thousands of brave souls are expected to endure the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean next weekend when the Lewes Polar Bear Plunge marks its 21st year.
The event will kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb.3 at the surf off of Rehoboth Avenue in Rehoboth Beach.
The annual event raises money for Special Olympics Delaware’s year-round program of sports training, athletic competition and related programs for more than 3,500 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
What began with 78 plungers in 1992 has grown into a massive event with nearly 3,700 polar bears raising more than $650,000 last year. Since its inception, the plunge has raised more than $6.15 million.
This year’s plunge will include events throughout the weekend. Saturday’s slate includes a Pooch Plunge from 11 a.m. to noon, an Ice Cream Throwdown from noon to 5 p.m., a 5k Run to the Plunge at 1 p.m. a restaurant chili contest from 3 to 6 p.m. and an ice sculpting contest with judging to begin at 1:30 p.m.
Restaurants and retailers throughout the Rehoboth Beach area also will be providing registered bears with special discounts and activities throughout the weekend.
For more information, visit www.plungeDE.org.