Thousands Stampede Into Ocean For Cayucos Polar Dip

Christian Hartnett, KCOY Central Coast News Reporter, ChristianHartnett@kcoy.com
POSTED: 04:47 PM PST Jan 01, 2014    UPDATED: 09:57 AM PST Jan 02, 2014 
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CAYUCOS, Calif. -

Even though it's winter, who says you can't have some fun at the beach? Today, thousands of people gathered in Cayucos to take an icy plunge into the Pacific Ocean for the 32nd annual Cayucos Polar Dip.

"It's a little cold. After you get in, it feels great," says one woman.

Polar plunges happen all over the world, but in Cayucos it's the costumes and people who define the event.

One woman who goes by the name Moonshadow, yes you read that right, is a polar plunge veteran.

"I like dressing up. I don't do it for attention. I do it for fun," said Moonshadow.

She's been to the event in Cayucos for 13 straight years and was attending other plunges on the East coast before that.

"My favorite part is being able to dress up and be around all these wonderful people who like to dress up like I do and have fun and dance," she said.

With the sun shining bright on the first day of January, you'd be hard pressed to think of a better place to be to ring in the new year.
     
The Carlin Soule Memorial Polar Bear Plunge is named for its founder Carlin Soule, who owned the Way Station restaurant. When he started it back in the early eighties it was just him and his wife and a few employees. It's grown to a crowd of about 2,000 this year.