Maryland town celebrates New Year’s with polar bear plunge

Participants get ready for the Polar Bear Plunge, a popular New Year's Day tradition in North Beach, Maryland. (Michelle Basch)
Participants get ready for the Polar Bear Plunge, a popular New Year’s Day tradition in North Beach, Maryland. (Michelle Basch)
The water temperature was around 50 degrees in North Beach on Jan. 1, 2016. (Michelle Basch)
The water temperature was around 50 degrees in North Beach on Jan. 1, 2016. (Michelle Basch)
Some participants dressed up in superhero outfits. (Michelle Basch)
Some participants dressed up in superhero outfits. (Michelle Basch)
Some participants gathered around a beach bonfire to warm up. (Michelle Basch)
Organizers counted 345 polar bear plungers this year. (Michelle Basch)
Organizers counted 345 polar bear plungers this year. (Michelle Basch)
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Participants get ready for the Polar Bear Plunge, a popular New Year's Day tradition in North Beach, Maryland. (Michelle Basch)
The water temperature was around 50 degrees in North Beach on Jan. 1, 2016. (Michelle Basch)
Some participants dressed up in superhero outfits. (Michelle Basch)
Organizers counted 345 polar bear plungers this year. (Michelle Basch)
Calvert County polar bear plunge (Omama Altaleb)

WASHINGTON — After a long night of celebrating, many people take it easy on New Year’s Day.

But in the Calvert County, Maryland town of North Beach, many chose to welcome the first day of 2016 with a shock to the system.

The town counted 345 participants in this year’s version of the annual polar bear plunge into the Chesapeake Bay.

As throngs of onlookers watched, some people ran into the water up to their thighs and waist, and then ran out.

Others took the full plunge, dunking their heads under the waves.

Town leaders say the water temperature for the event was 46 degrees.

Watch the video:

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