The Penguin Plunge in Atlantic Beach NC is a local annual charity event that takes place every January 1st at the circle boardwalk.
Update: Event organizers announced that the 2020 plunge saw 712 penguins, over 1000 spectators, and $9000 was raised to help the Salvation Army.
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So, picture a lot of people the afternoon after New Years celebrations meeting over at the circle on Atlantic Beach, dressed in summer attire on January 1st, paying some money to event organizers, then walking out on the beach with everyone else and when told to do so, everyone spontaneously runs in to the icy cold Atlantic Ocean and frolics around splashing their shivering friends and neighbors.
And sure, there will even be a few of the late night crowd disoriented heading straight to this event from whatever celebrations they had just a few hours earlier that will be dressed in various attire to really set the mood.
But, it’s all for a good cause because this event is one of many in Carteret County NC that exists to help those less fortunate in our communities. Each year, Penguin Plunge organizers pick a local charity to help, and all proceeds payed by participants and sponsors goes to helping those organizations.
Even if it means getting frost bite, hehe.
So how much to participate? The basic fee is $10 per person, and this allows you to run in to the cold ocean while the rest of us sane folks point and laugh at you. If you are really adventurous and want to freeze your 12 and under child to near death, the cost is $5.
But I am going to tell you right now, the folks that put this event on are not stupid people, and let me tell you why.
After about 5 minutes in the cold ocean, when you come to your senses, you are going to want some warmth real bad. And the event staff know that.
This is where the win / win comes in for everyone. If you pay $20 to participate, the staff will give you a T-shirt to help warm you back up.
But let’s face it, it’s January 1st, it’s cold outside, the ocean is cold, and you are still pretty disoriented from last nights festivities, half dressed, and in the ocean. Trust me, this is where they get you.
For just $35, the event staff will meet you with a nice, thick, and very warm hooded sweatshirt once you depart the ocean. Now sure, there will still be people pointing at you shaking their heads, and that one guy still in the ocean dressed as a penguin calling for the bartender, but staff will deal with him.
So you ready to attend? Good. Make sure to crawl your way to the circle in Atlantic Beach, on the boardwalk near the Crabs Claw Restaurant at 10 am on January 1st with your $35 in cash or credit card because I am surely ready to be entertained from the nice warm beach.
The 2020 Penguin Plunge will be helping The Salvation Army of Carteret County and if you are feeling very generous, this organization is taking on sponsors.
Have fun penguins! And be sure to use the comment section below to let us know what local businesses, organizations, and people helped sponsor this event!
Oh, and saying to the person next to you “Hold my beer” before running in to the ocean is not permissible. Here’s looking at you Tackle Box folks.