Charleston has two Polar Bear Swims to pick from

Image by Flickr user santheoImage by 20081228-polar.jpg

It's that time of year again: Charleston's Polar Bear swimmers are going back at it for a dip on January 1.

We've got a pair to pick from this year:
On Sullivan's Island at 2 p.m. Dunleavy's Pub is hosting it 16th annual dip. The event will benefit the S.C. Special Olympics.
On Folly Beach at 2 p.m. Snapper Jack's is hosting its third Polar Bear Plunge. The event will benefit the Lowcountry Food Bank.

If you're wonder what the heck this is about, here's the gist: All across the world on January 1, crazy people run into the frigid water as a way to ... well ... have fun. The first polar bear club was started in 1904 on Coney Island as a supposed way to benefit one's health.

In our case, the water's more chilly than frigid, but I still say it's a bit nutty.

If you don't have the courage to go for a dip yourself, you can always just show up to watch the madness.

The Charleston City Paper has some more details on the two events this year. While The Post and Courier has some excellent photos from the last time they did it, and a mini-orientation to the crazy event -- it answers fun questions like "What do I wear?", "How will I feel afterward?", and "Why did people start doing this?"