With the New Year nearly upon us, the City of Newport is reminding residents and visitors that Easton’s Beach will not be hosting the annual Polar Plunge organized by local non-profit A Wish Come True this year.

Typically held on January 1st, the ritual plunge has become a tradition for hundreds of spectators and participants, raising thousands of dollars over the past 16 years.

Instead, the organization is asking all those who would like to ring in the new year with an icy plunge to participate in a virtual ice bucket challenge by posting videos on social media with the hashtag #AWCTPolarPlunge.

The City is advising all potential plungers that Easton’s Beach will be closed and staff will be on hand to discourage groups from assembling in accordance with State Department of Health guidelines.

Additionally, residents are advised that City Hall and offices will be closed on Friday, Jan. 1st in observance of the holiday, and are due to close at Noon on both Thursday, Dec. 24th and Dec. 31st.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).