Thousands normally brave the chilly, ocean water on the 1st day of each year on Cayucos Beach, but this year’s Polar Bear Dip was canceled due to safety precautions.
“See you in Jan 2022” is the message on the Cayucos Chamber of Commerce website, signaling a no-go for the Polar Bear Dip in 2021, but some took to the water Friday morning because they’ve done it for years.
“Every year, it’s been a tradition for us to come out here, run in, wash clean the last year, and start out a new year,” said Cristi Fry, a Cayucos resident who has been participating in the Polar Bear Dip for about 10 years. “This year, it’s more important than ever.”
While Fry says she loves the popular event, she’s more than okay with its cancelation in 2021.
“I think it’s a good idea that the event was not happening. If people want to come out and do it on their own, that’s great,” said Fry. “Usually it starts at noon, and this beach is packed. It didn’t seem like a good idea this year.”
Others said no to hopping into the chilly water on Cayucos Beach.
“They’ve been coming since they were kids. They come every year for the Polar Bear Dip. My daughter and her husband included, but they’re not going to do it this year,” said Gil Igleheart, vice president of the Cayucos Chamber of Commerce.
The Cayucos Chamber is planning for a return of the Polar Bear Dip in 2022, but until then, some folks will continue to enjoy being nestled up against the coast.
“We’re just so lucky to live on this beautiful Central Coast and to be able to do something like this,” said Fry.