Jacksonport's annual Polar Bear Plunge breaks temperature record

The freezing temperatures at this year's Jacksonport Polar Bear Plunge topped a new record, January 1, 2017. (WLUK) 

JACKSONPORT, Wis. (WLUK) -- Whether for the first time like Patty Davenport of Oneida: "It was our brilliant idea," or the 10th year in a row like 81-year-old Bob Frey of Kenosha: "This year we're lucky, we got the sun and the sun helps you out," Jacksonport's annual Polar Bear Plunge brought hundreds to the Lakeshore Monday.

Some were there to watch, while others tested their physical and mental ability by jumping into an icy Lake Michigan.

"I know people think you're crazy when you do this, but haven't you done anything crazy in your life?" said Frey.

"Why not? It's my 35th birthday. Might as well jump in the water with my best friends," Davenport told FOX 11.

Joe Jarosh, who helps organize the event, says this year's freezing temperatures topped a new record.

"The water temperature was 32 degrees," Jarosh said. "The air temperature was one degree which set a new record.Our old record was two degrees, so we have a new record low: One degree."

Something Frey says worked to their advantage.

"The water was actually warmer than the air temperature," he said. "It was fun getting in the water."

And Davenport didn't seem to mind, as she chose to hang out for a while.

"I'm a little bit cold right now."

Event organizers say there were around 200 participants at this year's polar plunge. This is the 32nd year of the event.

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