Dunleavy’s Pub prepares to host 27th annual ‘New Year’s Day Polar Plunge’

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SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – We’re only a few hours away from the new year, and to start 2022 off right, Dunleavy’s Pub is hosting its 27th annual New Year’s Day Polar Plunge.

“It’s just a festive day to get the new year going,” pub owner Bill Dunleavy said. “And cleanse yourself in the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.”

Many are looking for a fresh start in the new year, and plunging into the ocean is one way to do it.

“Tomorrow, of course, is New Year’s Day,” Dunleavy said. “And we have our 27th Annual Polar Bear Swim.”

Dunleavy is excited for Saturday’s event after COVID forced him to cancel last year’s.

“Last year was cancelled,” he said. “So, we’re really looking forward to tomorrow because we’re going to have 75 degrees. We’re going to be in the water at two o’clock.”

All proceeds from the plunge go to the Special Olympics, a partnership that has lasted for 15 years.

“They’ll be a Special Olympics tent on the side of Dunleavy’s Pub,” Dunleavy said. “And just go make whatever donation you want. Typically, we raise between $30,000 and $50,000 on that day.”

Dunleavy says he’s glad to see the event grow after such humble beginnings.

“We started off with seven people,” he said. “Now we’re up to about 3,000 people in the water. And then all the grandmas, grandpas and everybody holding clothes and babies and everything. So, probably five or six thousand people out here.”

Dunleavy wants to remind everyone to bring those crazy costumes.

“I’ll be in a white tux and I’ll be jumping in the water with everybody,” he said.

The plunge starts at 2:00 p.m., but Dunleavy’s Pub will be open starting at 9:00 a.m. for customers to enjoy food and drinks.

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