Crowd Plunged Despite Chill, Breeze, Flurries

Crowd Plunged Despite Chill, Breeze, Flurries

Crowd Plunged Despite Chill, Breeze, Flurries

He was cold, but waved cheerily, when the Plunge was completed

POTTSTOWN PA – One couple wore “When Pigs Fly” bonnets (above). State Rep. Joe Ciresi arrived in a knitted jester’s cap. A man sported a nearly-indecent bathing suit that left little to the imagination. They, and hundreds of other costumed-or-not spectators and swimmers, showed up Wednesday morning (Jan. 1, 2020) at Pottstown’s Riverfront Park for a bracing New Year’s Day “Polar Bear Plunge” into the Schuylkill River.

Borough officials declared the event a rousing success, even though Mother Nature did her best to make plunge participants uncomfortable. Temperatures were in the mid-30s, but felt colder due to a steady breeze. Snow flurries began falling just before the water-bound run’s 10:30 a.m. start.

And the Schuylkill? Its bottom was covered with muck and occasional obstacles, and its water wasn’t much warmer than the air above its surface. Volunteer professional divers from several local companies were on hand to ensure safety.

Crowd Plunged Despite Chill, Breeze, Flurries

Some visitors were surprised by the length of a line for registrants. Each one was required to sign waivers proclaiming their health and fitness to swim

Crowd Plunged Despite Chill, Breeze, Flurries

Pork (in the form of hot dogs) and sauerkraut were offered for a maybe-lucky-in-2020 dinner

Crowd Plunged Despite Chill, Breeze, Flurries

For those awaiting the riverside spectacle, there was a Christmas tree tossing contest

Crowd Plunged Despite Chill, Breeze, Flurries

“Just take the picture, quick!,” this pair yelled to someone dry and on shore with a camera

Crowd Plunged Despite Chill, Breeze, Flurries

This man waded into the water with a camera of his own, and shot video of those waiting for him to emerge

Crowd Plunged Despite Chill, Breeze, Flurries

A bonfire, capably overseen and tended by Pottstown firefighters, kept many warm after the plunge ended

Photos by Debbie Zlomek for The Post Publications