Coney Island Polar Bear Club
The Coney Island Polar Bear Club is the oldest winter bathing organization in the United States. The club was founded by famed health advocate Bernarr McFadden in 1903. Members swim in the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island every Sunday from November through April.
Every New Year's Day, the Club is joined by participants from around the country - although most hark from New York - who partake in an annual swim. The 2005 event had 300 participants and 6000 onlookers. The Chief Polar Bear blows a conch shell to gather the swimmers before they run into the water.
- Polar Bear Plunges and Swims in Canada and the United States
The 2011 swim had close to 1,500 participants, 7,500 onlookers, and raised almost $50,000 for camp sunshine (www.campsunshine.org)
The CIPBC meets every Sunday From November through April for a standing 1pm dip into the Atlantic brine. The water temperature in early January is around 38 degrees F headed down to around 33 degrees in mid to late February.
-  Nick Kaye "Polar Bear Club Swims: New Year Parties (Don't Hold the Ice)", December 23, 2005 New York Times
-  Cynthia Blair "1903: Coney Island Polar Bear Club Founded", Newsday
- Special Olympics New York partners with Coney Island Polar Bears
- "Coney Island club prefers chilly start to new year", January 2, 2007, USA Today, Retrieved January 2, 2007