Several thousand people will show up at Rehoboth Beach Sunday unseasonably clad and ready to rush into the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean for the 21st Annual Lewes Polar Bear Plunge. The event is one of Delaware's most popular fundraisers, which raises money for Special Olympics Delaware's year-round programs.
The Plunge began in 1992 with just 78 "polar bears" daring to dip into the frigid ocean waters and raising $7,000 in the process. Last year, more than 3,500 people participated, helping to raise more than $650,000.
People don't start dipping their toes into the water until Sunday afternoon but the festivities will actually begin Friday with the weekend-long Plunge Festival that includes several Saturday activities: The Pooch Plunge (11 a.m. to noon); The Ice Cream Throwdown (noon to 5 p.m.); The Run to the Plunge 5K (1 p.m.); Restaurant Chili Contest (3 to 6 p.m.); And, an ice sculpting contest (judging takes place at 1:30 p.m.).
Pre-registration has closed but last-minute registration will be open at 10 a.m. at the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk. Just look for the special line for "day-of bears" at the registration tent.
Weather reports predict that temperatures will be in the mid-40s and that clouds should give way to the sun's warming rays but first-time plungers should be prepared for an undeniable level of cold.
DOs AND DON'TS Pack a robe. It will keep you warm as you wait and can be easily slipped back on when you get out of the water. Keep your feet covered until the last possible minute and consider wearing water shoes.
DON'T dive into the water or try to plunge headfirst. Bring extra towels and blankets. Wear layers of loose fitting clothes. Do not bring tents; They are not allowed on the beach. Leave your pet at home. Animals are strongly discouraged during the plunge.
Philly murals trace black history
WHAT Trolley Tour of the Albert M. Greenfield African American Iconic Images Collection
This month, the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia, a component of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network, will once again host tours of the Albert M. Greenfield African American Iconic Images Collection.
The guided tour consists of 47 murals throughout the city that uniquely capture the rich African American experience in Philadelphia. For Saturday's tour, participants will ride along with special guest guide Ernel Martinez, a Mural Arts Program muralist. Martinez helps visitors with the behind-the-scenes stories that each mural possesses. He also provides fundamental information about each mural subject.
"The murals in the Albert M. Greenfield African American Iconic Images Collection truly represent the voices of the communities who created them and who have stewarded them over the years," said Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Director Jane Golden.
The collection also features free online and smartphone components that allow people to explore 21 of the mural images with the help of musician and producer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, who narrates a self-guided tour that takes place along a trolley route in Philadelphia. iPhone users can also enjoy the tour from the comfort of their couch with the free Albert M. Greenfield African American Iconic Images App. The app also features ?uestlove narration and music by The Roots and hi-res images of the murals. For more information about the online and smartphone elements, visit iconic.muralarts.org/tour.
However, the trolley tour included the added bonus of same-day admission to the African American Museum in Philadelphia at 7th and Arch Streets. Tours depart and return from the Mural Arts at the Gallery, located at 9th and Market Streets. For more information, visit iconic.muralarts.org.