Coney Island’s annual Polar Bear plunge nixed over COVID-19 concerns
The “Polar Bears” will be hibernating this New Year’s Day.
The coronavirus pandemic — and mounting efforts to stave off a second wave of infections — have sunk Coney Island’s annual plunge into the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean, organizers said Monday.
“While we are deeply disappointed that our great New Year’s tradition will not be taking place in 2021, we know this is the right decision to make for the health and safety of our members, thousands of attendees, and tens of thousands of spectators who show up for this event every January 1st,” said Dennis Thomas, president of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club.
“We will be back bigger and stronger in 2022,” he vowed.
In a usual winter, thousands would line the beach at Coney Island to take a dip in the waters amid typically freezing conditions as one way to ring in the new year — and to help raise money for charity.
Thomas said in his statement that the group hopes New Yorkers will continue to contribute, citing the struggles of Coney Island’s boardwalk and surrounding community as COVID-19 restrictions have left many local businesses shuttered.
Those seeking to donate can do so at www.polarbearclub.org.
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