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Thousands take traditional plunge despite icy and windy conditions

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Ellsworth, 54011
Pierce County Herald
715-273-4335 customer support
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Icy and windy conditions did not stop thousands of Wisconsinites from plunging into Lake Michigan on New Year's Day.

Firefighters helped clear the ice at Jacksonport in Door County, where 750 people made the plunge.

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Organizer J.R. Jarosh said gale-force winds created the worst conditions in 23 years. In Sheboygan. There was too much ice to hold the event at its normal spot so organizers moved about 600 yards to the south.

About 350 people braved 4-to-5-foot waves, a 32-degree water temperature, a 25-degree air temp, and winds of almost 30 miles an hour.

In Milwaukee, Polar Bear Club president Garth Gaskey said his legs were bleeding from all the ice he had to maneuver around.

But fire officials reported no major injuries.

They said around 2,000 plunged and another 2,000 looked on.

A similar event took place on Lake Michigan in Kewaunee.

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news@piercecountyherald.com
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