Throwback: ‘Polar Bears’ plunge into 1988

Posted at 5:30 AM, Dec 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-29 05:30:43-05

SHELBYVILLE — For a select few Hoosiers, there was only one way to ring in the new year — by taking a literal plunge.

Diana Stevens helped start the New Year’s Day tradition in the late 1980s.

“It’s kind of like preparing for the Olympics,” Stevens said. “If you live through it, you don’t win a medal, but you know you’ve done something good on the inside.”

After taking a brief oath, Stevens and nine other hearty souls braved the cold temperatures at the Fairland Recreation Park in Shelby County. A few dozen fans gathered to watch the spectacle.

“They’re nuts,” one onlooker told WRTV. “They’re crazy.”