Reminder: Polar Bear Plunge in Edmonds Jan. 1

Polar plungers begin their rush into the water in 2019. (Photo by Julia Wiese)

Here’s another holiday tradition to look forward to: Welcome a new decade with the annual Polar Bear Plunge New Year’s Day at Edmonds’ Brackett’s Landing.

According to event founder Brian Taylor, participants will plunge as usual at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 at Brackett’s Landing. Those 21 and older are invited to gather for pre-event festivities at noon at Daphne’s bar, 415 Main St. As in the tradition, anyone wearing a bathrobe will receive a free Rainier beer.

The Edmonds Polar Bear Plunge got its start in 2008. Taylor had participated in similar events over the years, and one evening over a few drinks with friends it was suggested that the time was ripe to institute a polar bear plunge in Edmonds.

Inspired by a 1932 photograph from the Edmonds Historical Museum archives showing the Edmonds Uplift Society, a prohibition-era drinking club, Taylor and others decided to revive the Uplift Society as the event sponsor. In recognition, the museum donated a print of the original Uplift Society members hoisting a few cold Rainiers, and that image continues to occupy a place of honor in Daphne’s Bar, which Taylor owns.

In 2018, the Uplift Society closed its books and retired the signature white bathrobes that have been part of the plunge tradition. But wearing any bathrobe to the event is still encouraged.

As always, those gathered at Daphne’s pre-plunge will raise a toast, sing “God Bless America” and then stroll down Main Street to Brackett’s Landing.

The Daphne’s crowd will be joined at the beach by hundreds of other participants of all ages, who will take the plunge at about 1 p.m.


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