'Laid Back' Annual Super Bowl Splash In Long Beach

February 2, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

LONG BEACH, NY — A winter tradition resumes with the annual Super Bowl Splash. Since 2001 the Long Beach Polar Bears have organized the chilly event into the Atlantic with proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation .

“The first year we raised about $8,000 and that was enough for one wish,” Long Beach Polar Bears’ Kevin McCarthy told Patch. “We were excited that year.”

Its popularity has grown in the two decades that have followed.

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“We’re almost at the $10 million mark raised over the years,” he said. “The numbers blow me away every year.”

McCarthy encourages charitable donations. Sweatshirts and other merchandise are available for purchase. But the day is all about getting in the water.

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“We all go in together,” McCarthy said.

The Feb. 11 gathering is an hours-long party on the boardwalk, complete with a DJ on the beach, culminating with the splash at 1:30 p.m. It takes place at the end of Laurelton Boulevard with additional beach entrances on Lafayette Boulevard and Magnolia Boulevard.

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“It’s very laid back and that’s what people enjoy about it,” he said.

McCarthy estimates that 5,000-7,000 people will take the dip and thousands more will come out for the unique Long Beach experience.

“People come from all over,” he said.

While part of the draw is the iconic Long Beach, McCarthy said many people turn out for Make-A-Wish.

“I can’t say enough nice things about them and what they do,” he said.

But in the end, it’s still about handling the weather, even briefly.

“It’s cold [and] it’s refreshing. I’m not going to lie,” McCarthy joked.

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