Boston Kicks Off 2014 with Polar Bath

Hundreds take an icy swim in Dorchester Bay

polar bear plunge

These Polar Bears were dressed for a beach in Hawaii but instead found themselves in the frigid waters of the Mississippi for a good cause.     Photo: eagle102.net/Wikimedia

At 9:30 a.m. on New Year's Day, a bull horn blaired and an army of New England residents plunged into South Boston's icy Dorchester Bay.

Six hundred people in various swimwear—including Speedos, string bikinis, and Viking costumes—participated in the Polar Plunge, which is sponsored by the L Street Brownies Swimming Club. The National Weather Service reports that the tempertature during this frigid baptism was 24 degrees.

“The air is so much warmer after you’ve been in there. It’s just great! It’s awesome!” one swimmer told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens.

The event is a New Year's tradition and has been held every year since 1904. Also, there is no charge to participate. Money raised from T-shirt sales and hot chocolate was donated to the South Boston Sports Hall of Fame Scholarship Fund and to the youth hockey association.

Images and video from Boston's Polar Plunge:

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