If one thing’s apparent, people in New England love traditions. Ever since we landed on Plymouth Rock (or was it Provincetown ïŠ), we’ve been setting tradition trends that reach across our fine country. Now traditions usually have roots back to the old country, and this one is no exception. Back in 1904, the L Street Brownies held their first New Year’s Day swim in Boston Harbor. According to Mass Moments, the L Street Brownies get their name from "the beach where the club meets and for the nut-brown skin color many of the members develop from daily exposure to the sun." It’s been said that winter swimming might date back to 1865, when European immigrants believed that "cold-water dips , alternating with sauna or steam baths, promoted good health." Although the Coney Island Polar Bears of NYC hold the title for the oldest club, many believe early documentation will prove them wrong, and allow us to take over the title.
Fast forward 106 years later. New Englander’s have taken this jaunt to epic proportions, with the 2009 plunge clocking in at approximately 200 people. With the 2010 plunge right around the corner we only expect the number to rise.
So for all you brave souls and entertained spectators who plan on attending the plunge this year, we suggest you cap off one great New England tradition with another, and head over to the Boston Beer Garden for an ice cold Gansett! Happy Plunging (and New Year)!