MILWAUKEE - For some brave souls, the freezing temperatures couldn't keep them from celebrating the new year with a "plunge" in Lake Michigan.
To look at the crowd on Milwaukee's Bradford Beach New Year's Day, you'd think it was summer. But with snow covering the sand, the daredevils were taking a dip as part of the polar bear plunge.
David Kirkpatrick: "it's cold but it's not that windy. The wind chill plays a big factor and it's not that bad of a day to go in."
And hundreds showed up for the swim. Others were just there for support.
Susan Forge: "i'm the smart one, i stay in the outfit and don't jump in and i stay warm."
And there were as many reasons for giving it a go as there were people brave enough to try.
"we're going in the water because it's warmer than the air."
Jennifer Ring: "it gives you a fresh start to the new year. Wash off the old stuff, start in with something good."
"some guy by the name of Schwartz, he triple dog dared me, so i'm in."
And one by one, in they went.
Joe Osvatic: "it's like needles hitting your entire body all at the same time, it's crazy."
"it's our third year doing it and this is a lot colder than last year."
Despite the shock to the system, it's no doubt a special way to start the new year.
"this year it's beautiful. And it's sunny! It's a great day, 2013 is going to be the luckiest year ever."