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Polar Bear Club To Take New Year’s Plunge

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Polar Bear Plunge

A Chicago Polar Bear Plunge in 2006. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – The temperature tomorrow morning is expected to be around freezing, which is perfect for a nice swim in Lake Michigan.

At least that’s true if you ask the people with the Big Cat Polar Bear Club.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports, the group will have its 11th New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Mike Krauser Reports


Brian “Big Cat” McDougal started the club with a couple of friends.

Last year, more than fifty people took the plunge at North Avenue Beach.

“Last year it was quite a bit colder. I think when we jumped it was negative 22 degrees. So, compared to the spring-like weather we have out there today, it was a little more challenging,” McDougal said. “But in all fairness, the water, I just checked on the internet, the water is still 36 degrees.”

McDougal likes to say his group is the polar bear club others are afraid of. There are no heated tents or hot cocoa, and you can’t get away with just dipping your toes in the lake.

“You get out of your car, you walk to the beach – towel, swimsuit, lake,” McDougal said.

The group jumps at 8 a.m.

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