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“It wakes you up, I’ll tell you that:" Annual Polar Bear Plunge takes place at Bradford Beach

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- “It wakes you up, I’ll tell you that,” D.J. Rodrian said after he jumped into the icy waters of Lake Michigan Tuesday.

Rodrian was one of hundreds of people, some in costumes, who came out to Bradford Beach Tuesday and jumped into the water to celebrate the New Year.

The Polar Bear Plunge is an annual tradition. Some people returning to dive into the frigid water year after year.

“It’s a great Milwaukee tradition,” Rodrian said. “We’re not afraid of the cold here in Milwaukee.”

The event is free and unsponsored, but some people jumped in for a cause. For others, it is a check off their bucket list, a family tradition, and just fun! Tuesday’s below freezing temperatures, and waves, did not stop people from jumping right in at noon.

Dozens rushed into the water at the sound of a horn, and then after the dip it is a mad rush to put on warm, dry clothes.

“It was so cold I can’t even explain it,” Bree Wallace said after jumping in. “I can’t feel my feet right now.”

Many who jumped in this year, are now encouraging others to give it a try next year.

“If you haven’t done it come down,” Brad Spring said after making the plunge for his 20th year. “Don’t come to watch, come to jump because you will love it. You will love the people you meet. You’ll love everything about it. It’s fantastic.”

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