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Chico Polar Bear Plunge

It is 2019, and many Chicoans celebrated the new year by taking part on the annual "Polar Bear Plunge" at "One Mile" in Bidwell park.

Posted: Jan 1, 2019 5:04 PM
Updated: Jan 1, 2019 5:19 PM

CHICO, Calif. - It is 2019, and many Chicoans celebrated the new year by taking part on the annual "Polar Bear Plunge" at "One Mile" in Bidwell park.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Sycamore Pool.

"It was cool the adrenaline was rushing and we were excited and then they started to countdown and it kept getting closer and closer like oh man its coming," Jim Baylor, participant, said.

The temperature outside was at a breezy 49 degrees.

These brave people are jumping into water that's 34 degrees, that's two degrees above freezing.

One participant told Action News Now that morning, sheets of ice were still topping the surface.

"I'm freezing," Pamela Beeman, participant, said. "It's just there's so many people its such a rush that its like it's great I love it."

Many people said after jumping in, it was hard to catch their breath.

"Yeah I'm really cold I'm finally breathing again, yeah breathing again is nice, it's very hard to breathe when you're in there," Alyson Lacko and Jessica Miranda, participants, said.

"Then I started trying to swim as fast as possible and I could not cause I couldn't breathe enough, but I'm actually not cold anymore because compared to the water the air is like super warm," Gracyn Hamor, participant, said.

This was the 38th annual kick off to a new year.

"It's a tradition though, every year... every year? I can feel my toes again so that's good," Chris Coen, participant, said.

"It's a refreshing way to start the new year leave 2018 in the water, leave it behind us," Lacko and Miranda said.

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Heavy rain and gusty south winds are on tap for the start of your Friday, and we'll have scattered showers and the potential for thunderstorms Friday afternoon and evening. A stronger storm system will track into northern California this weekend, and will bring major travel impacts from Sunday through early next week.
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