PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Hundreds of people showed up on Tuesday morning to start off the New Year by taking a dip into some very cold water.
The Polar Bear Plunge was held at the Mon Wharf on New Year’s Day morning, with participants jumping into the Monongahela River.
“Last year, they had to break the ice so we had a place to go in. This year, about 40 degrees,” said Kenny James, of Perryopolis.
But the temperature doesn’t matter for James, who dressed up as Santa Claus.
“I do it every year for a good cause,” said James. “Freezin’ for a reason. Ho. Ho. Ho!”
“You look at this. Everybody is having a good time. There’s nobody fighting,” said President of the Pittsburgh Polar Bear Club Frank Nelson.
People of all ages dressed in costumes of all kinds to take the plunge, including Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert, to raise money for special causes.
“Nice and chilly. Nice and chilly for a great cause,” said Chief Schubert. “I think this is my ninth year doing it for Frank and the crew. Loved doing it. Great way to start off the New Year. Great way to raise money for the community.”
People were also jumping for a cause in Connellsville, Fayette County, with the goal of donating supplies to a local food pantry.
“We usually get between 40 and 50 banana boxes. It’s a great time of year to help us restock for the holidays. We’re the largest food pantry in Fayette County, so we can definitely use it to re-up after the holidays,” said Rita Smith with Connellsville Area Community Ministries.