MILWAUKEE -- The sun was shining, but it was anything but warm at Milwaukee's Bradford Beach Wednesday, Jan. 1 -- the scene for the 2020 edition of the Polar Plunge.
It is a New Year's Day tradition for hundreds of people to take a plunge into the icy water of Lake Michigan -- even if it takes a little bit of coaxing from friends.
"This is the gang," said Bill Klug, who took the plunge. "A lot of us were either ex-lifeguards down here at Bradford or family friends for years."
Most who took the challenge agreed it was all in good fun -- and a great way to start the new year.
"We haven't missed a year," said Klug. "I would say thousands, especially when it's warmer like this. There's going to be a big surge right at noon."
"Freezing cold needles, terror, but it should be OK!" said a first-time plunger. "Yeah, I'm going. I don't care what happens. I'm going all the way out there."
Some said compared to years past, it was actually pretty warm on Wednesday -- so the problem wasn't getting into the water, but instead, having to get out and face the breeze.
PHOTO GALLERY from Port Washington Polar Plunge