Coney Island’s annual Polar Bear caused a crash due to COVID-19 concerns


The “Polar Bears” will hibernate on this New Year’s Day.

The coronavirus epidemic – and efforts to prevent a second wave of infections – sank Coney Island’s annual plunge into the frozen waters of the Atlantic, organizers said Monday.

“While we are deeply disappointed that our great New Year traditions will not materialize in 2021, we know this is the right decision for the health and safety of our members, thousands of attendees and tens of thousands of spectators. on January 1 for this event, ”said Dennis Thomas, president of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club.

“In 2022, we will be bigger and stronger,” he agreed.

In a normal winter, thousands line up on the Coney Island beach to soak in the water in usually frosty conditions as a way to ring the New Year – and to raise money for charity.

Thomas said in a statement that the group hopes the people of New York will continue to contribute, citing the struggles on Coney Island Promenade and the surrounding community as COVID-19 restrictions have left many local businesses closed.

Those wishing to donate can do so at www.polarbearclub.org.