The wind was blowing, but the sun finally made an appearance this mid-April Saturday. Not that it was going to be much consolation to the nearly 60 brave Kansans who were about to take an early-Spring dip in a mini swimming pool filled with ice-cold water.

The 2021 Polar Plunge began to take shape around 10am this morning (04/10/21), as a Manhattan Fire Department pumper truck filled the 30-inch tall 12-foot wide pool. Then there was the icing… literally. Bags of ice provided by the other event sponsor, Manhattan Brewing Company, were unceremoniously dumped into the water just to give it that extra bite. After all, it IS called the POLAR Plunge, right? Many of the faces on the waiting crowd turned blank as they witnessed the reality of their choice.

Around 11am, participants made their way to the registration table to check-in and pick up their 2021 Polar Plunge t-shirt. Many came in costume, some joining in the theme for this year; Frozen In Time. The likes of Freddy Mercury, Supergirl, The Power-Puff Girls and several K-State Football superstars (including last season’s break-out star Deuce Vaughn and returning QB Skylar Thompson) climbed the stairs onto the launch pad.

As the temp gauge reached a balmy 56 at Noon… in they went.

Organizers say they far surpassed this year’s fundraising goal of $13,000 and that the turnout was much bigger than expected. The donations to plungers benefit the many Special Olympics Kansas events and will help over 4800 Special Olympics athletes get back into action in 2021. Last year’s Polar Plunge was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Check out our photo gallery below. Just click on the first image and scroll through!

Photos by Sam Hennigh