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The Lewes Polar Bear Plunge at Rehoboth Beach is approaching

The Polar Bear Plunge benefiting Special Olympics Delaware is just around the corner.

The 32nd plunge will take place Sunday, February 5th in Rehoboth Beach, and it will again be available virtually for those who are either out of town or just can’t make it.

The event started in 1992, and it has grown from 78 plungers raising $7,000 in that first one to over 3200 last year, and that success was without full weekend of events.

"Our total number of Bears was 3,244 which was higher than it had been in some time. Our all-time number is 3700, but that 3200 that we had last year was a very, very high number in the past decade or so and so we were thrilled about that," said Jon Buzby, director of media relations for Special Olympics Delaware.

The plunge has raised more than $14.7 million supporting Special Olympics Delaware, and this year will be the first full weekend of events since before COVID.

Because of that Buzby says they hope this year will be bigger.

"Based on the tracking of all our numbers from previous plunges, this plunge looks to be even bigger than last year, when it was the first one out of COVID. And we're excited that this year the couple of events that were not offered during plunge weekend last year, the operate plunge party after the plunge, and the Fire and Ice Festival on Saturday of the plunge weekend - they are coming back in full force," said Buzby.

Saturday activities include a 5k run, sand sculpting demonstration, and a restaurant chili tasting contest as well as the Fire & Ice Festival. More information can be found at

Buzby does note that the weather could also be a factor in participation as a good day could mean a big walk up on the day of the plunge, while bad weather could keep people away. Of course that’s where the virtual option can help.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.