Many Americans spend January 1 sprawled on the couch and pretending to watch football games they don’t really care about while praying the pounding in their head goes away and promising to never drink again if it does. In Ocean City, Maryland, however, we are resolved to start our New Year off in a more uplifting and active way. That’s why, each New Year’s Day, Ocean City residents gather by the masses, many in elaborate and outrageous costumes, to “get wet for a good cause” in one of the most enthralling events of the entire year: the Penguin Swim. Founded in 1994, the Penguin Swim takes place at the Princess Royale on Jan. 1 and raises thousands of dollars annually to benefit Atlantic General Hospital.
Join hundreds of your closest friends and family as they compete as part of a team or as individuals to raise as much money as possible for the AGH Foundation. Registration for this widely popular, all ages event opens at 10 a.m. at the Princess Royale and the dip into the Atlantic takes place promptly at 1:00 p.m. Plungers can also register early at the Princess Royale on New Year’s Eve from 2 to 4 p.m. The awards ceremony will follow the plunge with light refreshments and prizes awarded to the top three earning business teams, as well as for the community groups and organizations that raise the most money. The top-earning individuals will also be recognized, as will the oldest and youngest swimmers, and those bearing the most creative costumes. Don’t fret if you’re afraid to endure the frigid water temperatures, you can still help make a difference and participate in the Penguin Swim as a sponsor or spectator.
If you are out of town or unable to attend the swim, you can still help make a difference. Head here to participate in the virtual swim! All you have to do is register as an individual or as part of a team and let the fundraising begin. If you want to take it a step further, jump in the water wherever you are on January 1, take a picture, and then share it with the Penguin Swim online community by tagging your photos with #OCPenguinSwim on social media.
See below for some spectacular images from the AGH website photo gallery of previous Penguin Swims before making plans to be part of this year’s excitement yourself.
This page was updated on Dec. 5, 2018 – Ed.