New Year’s Day is almost here and area “polar bears” are preparing to make their annual plunge into the frigid waters off Easton’s Beach. While taking a dip in near-freezing water might not necessarily benefit your health, this is certainly a party with a purpose and worth doing. Do we have your attention?

Allow us to talk you into why you should join them.

1. All The “Cool” Kids Are Doing It

Literally hundreds of locals and tourists return year after year, since 1969, to take part in this annual event to support A Wish Come True. Chances are you can find a co-worker, neighbor, or friend has participated or is planning on participating.

2. Wash Away Your Troubles Of 2019

Do we need to say more? The time is now to stop dwelling on our troubles and/or misfortunes. It’s time to put 2019 behind us.

3. Start Off 2020 Feeling Fresh & New

Despite possibly being hung over from New Year’s Eve, can you think of a more refreshing way to start the 1st of the year? Fresh and clean is the way to be!

4. You’ll Be Freezin’ For A Reason

If we haven’t talked you into jumping in yet, here’s the kicker. The Plunge benefit’s A Wish Come True, a staff member from their organization will be walking around with buckets asking for donations, there’s no admittance fee for participating but we encourage you to give what you can.

5. The After Party

Consider heading across the street to Rusty’s, Tickets or Diego’s Bodega Cantina following the event (or just follow the crowds, we’re sure someone will create a party somewhere).

After doing it, you’ll either say that it was the stupidest thing that you’ve done in your life or you will be hooked and will be back there every New Year’s Day. The plunge will take place at 12 p.m. The event is open to spectators who are not taking the plunge.

More Info: 2020 Polar Bear Plunge On Facebook

Facebook Event Details: “The Newport Rhode Island Polar Bear Plunge has been going on since 1969 . Every New Year Day at exactly Noon Time. Everyone Runs into the Chilly Winter waters of Easton’s Beach (1st Beach). This Beach is located at the begining of Cliff Walk. People Dress up in costumes individually or in teams or just their own bathing suits.All ages. It’s all for Fun. It’s also a Great Benefit – ( A Wish Come True.) help sick Kids dreams come True. You can make a donation as people will be walking around collecting with jars. They sell towels with their Logos on them too. So have a Heart and please Donate. There have been alot of people showing up in the last few years.I’ve heard between 3 to 5 thousand between people running in the water and alot just coming down to watch and join in the Fun. What a Great way too start out your year. Afterward you can have lunch at some of the local restaurants”.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.