The Maryland Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis is a charity event sponsored by the Maryland State Police in support of the Special Olympics. Each January, thousands of participants of all ages are daring enough to take a dip in the wintry waters of the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to the Plunges, attendees will enjoy a full-day winter festival featuring the Robert Andrews Salon & Spa, the Carnival FunFest tent with games, Astro Events Kids Zone, the Rams Head Ice Lodge and Beer Garden, food and other displays. New in 2013, the Corporate Plunge Challenge—a Friday Plunge option is exclusively for corporate teams who want to close the office early and head to the beach.
See Photos of the Maryland Polar Bear Plunge
Date, Times and Registration DetailsJanuary 25, 2014, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Registration opens at 8 a.m.
Mass Plunges will take place at both 1 and 3 p.m.
The Pee Wee Plunge at 11 a.m. includes a dip in a kiddie pool offered to children ages 8 and under. In addition to that, there is now a special Family Plunge, open to families who want to enjoy the full experience of plunging into the Bay, but in a less congested environment that is safer for younger children.
You may preregister online at www.plungemd.com or by calling (800) 541-7544 x503.
A minimum of $50 in pledges (or as a personal donation) is required in order to participate in the Maryland Polar Bear Plunge but spectators and festival-goers are welcome to attend free of charge. All participants receive a commemorative Plunge sweatshirt, and a photo gift.
LocationSandy Point State Park is located on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, off U.S. Routes 50/301 at exit 32.
Transportation and ParkingThere is NO general parking available at Sandy Point State Park. Participants and spectators are encouraged to travel to Sandy Point via bus or by taking advantage of the free shuttle bus system that will run continuous routes all day long from the Naval Academy Stadium, Anne Arundel Community College and Kent Island High School. Shuttles will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. See directions and more details.
Polar Bear Plunge Festival and Entertainment Highlights
- Rams Head Ice Lodge and Beer Garden: Eastern Shore’s favorite band, Hot Tub Limo, the headlining cover band, The Amish Outlaws and Celtic sounds by The Rovers will entertain the crowd with a pre- and post-Plunge DJ set, and a variety of other acts will provide a full day of entertainment.
- Carnival FunFest: The kids’ area includes boardwalk-style carnival games, a variety of food vendors, crafters and other displays.
- Robert Andrews Spa & Salon: A variety of vendors will be inside the spa tent, focusing on beauty, fitness, health and wellness. Attendees can get a variety of spa treatments on site, including a massage, a paraffin dip, micro-dermabrasion or teeth whitening.
Celebrity PlungersThe Maryland Polar Bear Plunge has become popular amongst local celebrities and politicians. Notable participants in past events include Governor Martin O’Malley; former Baltimore Ravens Assistant Head Coach Rex Ryan; Ravens players Adam Terry – OT, and Haloti Ngata – DT; Orioles Hall of Famer BJ Surhoff; former Raven Edwin Mulitalo; WBAL-TV’s Jennifer Franciotti, Sandra Shaw, Deb Weiner and Rob Roblin, among others; 98 Rock’s Mickey, Amelia & Spiegel Morning Show, Stash, Theo and Sarah “The Queen” Fleisher; former Governor Robert Ehrlich; and numerous other legislators, and business and community leaders.
About Special Olympics MarylandSpecial Olympics Maryland is a year-round sports organization dedicated to providing quality sports training and competition opportunities to Maryland’s children and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or closely related development disabilities. The organization currently serves 10,000 athletes statewide, and offers 28 sports, all at no cost to the athletes or their families. For more information, visit www.somd.org or call 410-789-6677 x117.
See More Polar Plunges in Maryland and Virginia