GREENVILLE – The 26th annual Polar Bear Plunge will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 at ECU’s Eakin Student Recreation Center.
The milestone event, which started in 1997, will provide all the excitement, fun and tradition of previous Polar Bear Plunge events while maintaining ECU’s health and safety requirements due to COVID-19.
ECU’s most famous winter tradition is open to all ECU students, faculty and staff. Participants will take the plunge into the ice-cold water of the ESRC outdoor pool. The first 800 participants will get to choose between an event T-shirt or a custom beanie designed for Polar Bear Plunge.
- Requirements for those participating in Polar Bear Plunge include:
- Pre-registration is encouraged to decrease wait times (including completing the online waiver in advance).
- CRW staff will sanitize and clean the outdoor pool deck in between jumps.
- Masks will be required at all times except for when participants jump into the pool and then masks will be put back on after getting out of the pool.
- Locker rooms will be available; however social distancing and masks are required.
- Participants are encouraged to bring their own towel.
Registration will begin at 6 p.m. and all jumpers must present their ECU 1Card (or ECU Rec App digital ID), bring a swimsuit and fill out the waiver if they have not pre-registered.
The first plunge in 1997 involved just 35 participants, and the record was set in 2014 with 1,200 jumpers hitting the pool. In January 2020, nearly 840 plungers participated in the event.
After the event, participants can enjoy refreshments and entertainment and attend the ECU Student Involvement Fair, which showcases many of ECU’s 475-plus student organizations. Masks will be required except while eating or drinking, and social distancing will be enforced. Polar Bear sponsors include Campus Recreation and Wellness, Student Involvement and Leadership, Campus Living, and The Bower/The Davis.