Get Ready to Take the Plunge in East Hampton

Hundreds of plungers took to the ocean off Main Beach in East Hampton on Tuesday, January 1, for the 17th annual East Hampton Polar Bear Plunge to benefit East End food pantries. Michael Heller photos

The better the weather, the more plungers and thus more money raised for a good cause — but either way, the Polar Bear Plunge at East Hampton’s Main Beach on Wednesday, January 1, is sure to be a festive, bracing and community-minded way to start the new year.
Vicki Littman of the East Hampton Food Pantry, which is the beneficiary of the annual event, said last year’s turnout was terrific thanks to moderate temperatures. She was hoping for the same conditions this year, but who knows?
Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. for the main event at 1 p.m. Prizes will be doled out for best costume, there will be complimentary hot food for all participants, apparel will be sold, and a 50/50 raffle will be held. The cost to register is a $35 donation. All proceeds benefit the East Hampton Food Pantry, which distributes food in Amagansett, East Hampton and at East Hampton High School.
East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue and the East Hampton Hurrricanes are big boosters of the event, and John Ryan Sr. has been known to wear a plunger on his head to demonstrate his support. “Freezin’ for a reason” is the brave bathers’ battle cry.
More information can be found at or by calling 631-324-2300.Ge