Polar Bear Plunge participants jump into icy Lake Michigan

MILWAUKEE -- Many in Milwaukee spend the beginning of the first day of the year the same way, every year. They take the icy plunge into Lake Michigan, as part of the annual Polar Bear Plunge.

The Polar Bear Plunge generally takes place around noon on New Year's Day at Bradford Beach, and has grown to include hundreds of participants. Each say they experience Lake Michigan a bit differently - some saying it's not bad at all, and some saying once they take the plunge, they'll never do it again!

Dennis Wurch has been jumping into the lake as part of the Polar Bear Plunge for more than three decades. "It's very refreshing. It's like rolling down your windows and getting a breath of fresh air, except a little bit stronger than that. It's an experience in life that I think everybody should try, unless they have heart conditions or something like that," Wurch said.

The Polar Bear Plunge's website says past crowds at Bradford Beach have reached over 3,000. There were complimentary shuttle buses running round trips from G Daddy's BBC, Hooligan's and Hotel Foster.