Freeze for a Reason at Milwaukee’s Annual Polar Bear Plunge

  • Posted on Monday December 19, 2016
  • 3 Min Read

It’s a beautiful, cold New Year’s Day in Milwaukee, WI. Local storage units across the city are being raided for previously parked barbecue grills and beach towels. If you’re new to Brew City, get ready for one of its most entertaining traditions. If you’re a happy native, you’re headed to Bradford Beach for the annual Polar Bear Plunge.

Credit Our Own Marx Brother

Credit Milwaukee resident, advertising executive and amateur photographer Gustav Marx. His pictures preserved the first Polar Bear Plunge in 1916 and helped make it a crazy, but beloved, New Year’s Day tradition. People still celebrate every year at the lakeside shore on North Lincoln Memorial Drive. Water temperatures average 30 degrees, but that doesn’t slow down dedicated Polar Bears. They really do bring grills and gear out of self storage for a day on the beach that includes red-hot brats and ice-cold beer.

Pick Your Reason for Freezing

This is officially an unofficial celebration that succeeds because of the generous good nature of Milwaukeeans. You don’t deal with a central organization or strict structure. Choose a worthy cause, and follow the lead of other Polar Bears with team spirit and T-shirts. Get your gusto organized in nearby storage units, band together with friends, and take the lake plunge while you all freeze for a reason.

Make Advance Polar Bear Plans

There aren’t any rules, but if this is your first plunge, we want you to get the most out of it. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your cool in Lake Michigan’s surf.

  • Don’t go barefoot. The beach floor can be rocky, so wear shoes with non-slip soles.
  • Layer on clothes that are easy to remove. Make sure you’re comfortable.
  • Bring lots of oversized towels. You’ll want to dry off immediately after your dip.
  • Plan on becoming a quick-change artist and jumping into warm, dry clothes right away.
  • Set up a self storage unit at our South Fifth Court facilities as your team’s staging zone.

You’re Never Alone

Brew Town isn’t the only city that believes in the power of a collective soak in freezing surf. They do it every New Year’s Day over in the Netherlands where 10,000 brave souls hit the winter sea off Scheveningen. UK enthusiasts in South Queensferry, Scotland, dress up for the occasion as they throw themselves into icy waters. Our neighbors up north call their Canadian festivities Polar Bear Swims. Just like our brave souls here in Milwaukee, folks in Vancouver have been doing the dip since the 1900s.

We’re Right Behind You

Splashing in icy water is a sensational way to celebrate New Year’s Day. The experience is even better when like-minded spirits wade in with charity and outreach to the surrounding community. Our teams here at Devon Self Storage extend a Milwaukee, WI high-five to everyone who makes the Polar Bear Plunge a wild success. We’re wearing our trapper hats and mittens, but we’re right behind you as you raid those storage units and head to Bradford Beach.