Plunging into the new year in Coeur d'Alene - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Plunging into the new year in Coeur d'Alene

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The crowd for the Polar Bear Plunge. The crowd for the Polar Bear Plunge.
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

If you're like me, then you don't even want to be standing outside for any length of time when the temperatures are this cold.  Now imagine being outside in a bathing suit and then voluntarily running into a frigid lake. 

Seems like you'd have to be crazy to do something like that, but plenty of people were willing to do just that at Sanders Beach for the Polar Bear Plunge. 

The Polar Bear Plunge has been happening in Coeur d'Alene for more than 35 years and it certainly seems to draw quite the crowd. 

The beach was full of folks in every form of attire or next to nothing.  People wearing just bikinis and shorts running alongside someone in a zebra onesie all decided this was the way to ring in the new year. 

One man who has been doing it for the last 22 years had a bit of advice.  "If you think about it, you'll talk yourself out of it." 

Perhaps that's why I've never even come close.  I think about it way too much! 

Another man described it as "miserable and awesome."  I'm not sure they go together but hey, to each their own.   

Others did it for a good cause.  St. Vincent de Paul of North Idaho was at the event collecting clothes for those in need.  "Some people are cold for a minute when they come down for the plunge, but we have people that are cold for many months," says Barbara Smalley with St. Vincent de Paul of North Idaho.  

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