WOODS BAY — Hundreds of brave souls rang in the new year in Woods Bay on Wednesday by plunging into icy cold Flathead Lake.
Plungers were in for a surprise as the temperature of the lake checked in at a frigid 41 degrees.
Event organizer Brittney Rutherford says the plunge is the perfect way to start the new year.
“Little kids to 80 year olds to just everybody that just wants to be spontaneous, start fresh, have a happy new year, there’s no other better way than to jump in.” Rutherfor said
The 24th annual Woods Bay Polar Plunge saw people of all ages jump into the chilling water.
Friends Cain Roettig and Robert Lowry traveled down from Kalispell to take the icy plunge.
“I actually came out here when I was seven but I didn’t jump in because I was scared so I’m just making up for it now,” said Roettig.
Following the plunge, both Roettig and Lowry did their best to stay warm.
“It feels great, refreshing actually," Lowry said. "The anticipation is the worst, we went down there 10 minutes early and that was a mistake just standing out there waiting but getting in the water I expected it to be a little worse.”
Polar plungers from across the Flathead Valley participated in the event with some even dressing up in costume.
Woods Bay Polar Plunge organizers say the number of plunge participants increases every year.