PERRYSBURG, Ohio — On the first day of 2020, Buttonwood in Perrysburg Park was filled with people ready to jump in the Maumee River and start off the New Year in cold waters. One by one, plungers of all ages took a quick dip in the river.
This was the 91st year the plunge took place in northwest Ohio. Traditionally, the event takes place at the Waterville Bridge, but since it is under construction, the park in Perrysburg was the chosen spot for the second consecutive year.
"II was a little worried when I saw in the spring buttonwood was closed with the ice flows! And when we came down here early December, we were like 'Yeah this is going to cramp our parking,' but it worked out," plunge organizer Adam Freeman said.
So why exactly do people jump in? Many say it's a way to wash away last year's mistakes and have some outrageous fun on the first day of the year.
"This is my 12th year doing this one! It's a great way to start out the new year, you get to have fun! Meet a lot of crazy people down here who are just here to have a good time," Rick Metzger said.
Although the jump did not happen until 2:30 p.m., some people like Russ Vascik tailgated in the morning to prepare for the cold dip.
"It's about like it was last year! So, it's a perfect day — nice, sunny day! Lots of people out here this year so, it's going to be fun!" he said.
Plungers plan to move the event back to Waterville once construction is complete.