Tybee’s Polar Plunge adding a virtual twist for COVID-19 safety precautions

Tybee’s Polar Plunge adding a virtual twist for COVID-19 safety precautions

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - The Tybee Polar Plunge is a long tradition that brings in thousands of people from across the country every year. This year, organizers still wanted to give those eager to take the plunge the opportunity, but by doing so in a safe way.

Typically, the beach would be full of people in costumes jumping into the cold water, but the Tybee Post Theater didn’t want to encourage the crowds of people. Instead, people can take a video of themselves taking the plunge from anywhere they want.

This year marks the twenty-second year of the plunge. On New Year’s Day at noon, people who’ve registered can jump in the water from anywhere they choose.

The plunge benefits the Tybee Post Theater, and Executive Director Melissa Turner says with how hurt they are financially from this year they knew they had to find a way to put on the event. Those who plunge are asked to take videos or pictures of themselves to submit to the event’s Facebook page.

Turner says they’ll still be giving out prizes to winners of various categories and the opportunity to take part in the popular “Gang of Goofs” costume contest. Turner says so far, they have about 600 people registered.

“The more we talked about it the more we realized, it is such a tradition on Tybee. I mean we would have well over 1,000 people sign up every year and I thought well they’re not going to do that this year since we’re not going to have the big event on the pier, but I’m surprised we may hit that number,” Turner said.

Turner says people may still come to the pier to take their plunge and that’s fine, but organizers will not be there to run it. Registration is still open and will be until the day of the plunge.

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