Hundreds take part in annual Polar Bear Plunge at McMurtrey Aquatic Center

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People of all ages took part in Bakersfield’s annual Polar Bear Plunge on New Years Day, braving the cold weather to welcome in the new year.

The city’s Recreation and Parks Dept.  partnered with the McMurtrey Aquatic Center to host the event at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

“It’s just a wonderful community event so people can start off the new year feeling fresh and invigorated,” said Ja’Nette Beck with the Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Dept.

She noted dozens were ready to slide into 2019 just as they slid into the frigid cold water from water slides.

“I just know to expect cold,” said participant Tommy Orr.

The temperature was 42 degrees at start time. But that didn’t stop attendees from having a good time, including those too scared to enter the frigid waters.

“There’s been a few people that hit the water and decide, ‘I’m going to skip that 25 yards,’ and that’s perfectly fine. It’s been a wonderful tradition and we want to keep it for years to come.”

The polar plunge took place in other cities across the nation today, including Boston, where nearly 600 people were brave enough to take a swim in the 43 degree ocean.

And you were hoping to participate in Bakersfield’s Polar Bear Plunge next year, a representative confirms plans are already in the works for Polar Bear Plunge 2020.

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