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VIDEO: Polar Bear Plunge Returns To Seaside Heights; Traffic Jams On Route 35

Last year, organizers of the popular annual Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics New Jersey decided to relocate the frozen-soaking event because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

On Saturday, they came home. And on the way out, they encountered traffic jams that clogged Route 35 to the north, extending past Ortley Beach.

The Polar Bear Plunge celebrated its 21st year in Seaside Heights Saturday, where it has been held for six years before it landed in Long Branch in 2013.

Every year, thousands of people take the plunge into the freezing waters of the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for Special Olympics New Jersey, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for more than 22,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. In 2012, the single-day event drew more than 5,900 participants and raised more than $1.4 million, according to NJ.com.

John Cobb February 23, 2014 at 11:22 AM
Look at all the idiots stuck in traffic, LMFAO!
connie rutledge February 23, 2014 at 11:33 AM
What a wonderful event for charity! My son & his work associates, & close friends are all involved & look forward to this event. Thank God for the wonderful weather. Here's looking forward to next year! Thanks to all involved & just a hint for all of you stuck in traffic.. get there in the morning & enjoy breakfast at one of the many restaurants in Seaside Heights.
Moxie February 23, 2014 at 01:29 PM
Living down here at the beach can be difficult at best, with the roads all torn up, the huge devouring pot holes, the detours that never end...the construction vehicles in the way...it's horrible. Now, add 40,000 people to the mix and what you have is and endless stream of cars and angry people wanting to get into SSH. At 8 PM last night the traffic was still backed up to Normandy and Chadwick. I'm sure many hopes were shattered because the people just couldn't get there. And being stuck in traffic down here in Lavallette is a nightmare of it's own. So, now what? The loyal people who came down here to participate and watch will probably not return this summer...I certainly wouldn't consider it if it would have been me stuck in the traffic.
Deep Throat February 23, 2014 at 02:39 PM
The only thing that the polar bear plunge did was to push anyone on the verge of thinking about coming down here this summer on vacation, off the ledge and pretty much guarantee that they will be looking elsewhere for vacation this year. Tourism just took another major step backwards after all the negative traffic publicity.
David Grein February 23, 2014 at 03:22 PM
I absolutely agree! The police and others were TOTALLY unprepared for the crowds given the awful condition of the roads and the construction. A normal 30 minute drive took us almost 4 hours. I swore to not return again this year!
Mac February 23, 2014 at 04:37 PM
looks like the SSH's boardwalk sale of GWB autographed orange cones went well
Martin February 23, 2014 at 06:12 PM
Why didn't Christie take the plunge? Thousands more people would've paid plenty to see him jump off the Geo. Wash. Bridge.
Av February 23, 2014 at 08:41 PM
Milk jug sales up 50%
John Cobb February 24, 2014 at 04:49 AM
I wonder why the people wishing to travel north from Sleazeside, just take Rt 37 W to the GSP and go that way? May be a longer ride, but I would think it beats sitting in that traffic jam.
letsgetreal February 24, 2014 at 07:21 AM
@ John Cobb You make a great point....You cant fix stupid....but its everyone's else' fault never their own.
WhyohWhy February 24, 2014 at 08:37 AM
Listen...you go to the "Plunge" you have to expect traffic. Especially when you know there has been major road construction going on since SSS so stop complaining ! There were alternate routes !
Mac February 24, 2014 at 09:16 AM
yes, there are alternate routes and none of those alternate destinations end up in Gilmore's oceanfront pit of corruption

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