Hundreds welcome 2023 in Edmonds with New Year’s Day dip

Meeting at Daphnes Bar prior to the event, (L-R) Edmonds residents Janice, Jerrod and Conni prepare for their first-ever plunge, while Michele is a veteran, joining them for her fourth time.
Husky rescue Atticus, with owners Richard and Marieke. The 6-year-old Atticus is considering the dip; his humans just came to cheer on those willing to take the plunge.
Jeff Barnett from Salish Sea Brewing with Katie Kelly, director of the Edmonds Historical Museum.
After nine years, Miles worked up the courage to join the Polar Plunge. Daughter Shiloh, on dad’s shoulders. also wants to try it but brother Cash planned to watch from dry land.
As they march from Daphnes to the beach, the group of plungers stretches for a couple blocks.
Beach master Edith Farrar (left) leads the way.
In they go.

An estimated 500 hearty souls gathered at Brackett’s Landing beach Sunday afternoon for a New Year’s Day tradition in Edmonds — taking a dip in the chilly waters of Puget Sound.

Sponsored by the Edmonds Uplift Society, the 15th annual Polar Bear Plunge was held at the foot of Main Street just north of the Edmonds-Kingston ferry terminal. The festivities began with a pre-function at Daphnes Bar, followed by a march down Main Street to the beach.

The Edmonds Polar Bear Plunge got its start in 2008. Founder Brian Taylor had participated in similar events elsewhere over the years, and one evening over a few drinks with friends it was suggested that the time was ripe to institute a polar bear plunge in Edmonds. Inspired by a 1932 photograph from the Edmonds Historical Museum archives showing the Edmonds Uplift Society, a prohibition-era drinking club, Taylor and others decided to revive the Uplift Society as the event sponsor.

In recognition, the museum donated a print of the original Uplift Society members hoisting a few cold Rainiers, and that image continues to occupy a place of honor in Daphnes Bar.

You can see a video of the plunge here.

— Photos by Julia Wiese

  1. These were great photos. So nice to see so many having so much fun together. I loved them all. I didn’t realize this event had such a history behind it either. I have heard Daphnes is a fun bar, clearly this is true!! Way to go participants. I hope to watch you in person next year and join you at Daphnes watching you build your courage haha. This was a great way to start a New Year!

  2. Great photos Julia! Love all the expressions on people’s faces as they rush into the water. Thank you for covering this event again for those of less brave to take the plunge and/or too lazy to make it down there to watch.

  3. Great photos, Julia! So fun to discover the Edmonds polar plunge on our morning walk with our big white husky, Atticus. My mother-in-law was thrilled to see our photo in your article. Happiest New Year! 🙂

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