Nuthin’ Says ‘New Year!’ Better Than A Schuylkill Swim


POTTSTOWN PA – Dozens of intrepid swimmers – some of them in daring bikinis and Speedos, the smarter ones in full wetsuits – charged from the banks at Pottstown PA’s Riverfront Park on New Year’s Day (Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012) for a few seconds’ dip into the 46-degree Schuylkill River … mostly just to say they did it.

There was howling a’plenty, first from the mob as it ran toward the water; then from those shocked by its stinging cold; and finally from those who stayed safely (and dryly) on shore and humored themselves in witnessing the event.

What is called the Polar Bear Plunge is now in its fifth year in the borough, and it is consistently attracting larger crowds and more interestingly dressed participants. The plunge, held Jan. 1, breathlessly marks the start of the new year with fun, frivolity, and the hope that those taking a dip consumed large quantities of flu-fighting vitamins before wading in.

For the record, the sun was bright, the air temperature was in the comparatively balmy mid-50s, the park was filled, parking was at a premium, and smiling faces were seen everywhere.