Hundreds turn out for shivery, New Year’s Day plunge into Barton Springs Pool

A man leaps into Barton Springs Pool for the Polar Bear Splash to ring in the New Year and celebrate the springs on Jan. 1, 2018. (KXAN Photo: Kyle Kovilaritch)
A man leaps into Barton Springs Pool for the Polar Bear Splash to ring in the New Year and celebrate the springs on Jan. 1, 2018. (KXAN Photo: Kyle Kovilaritch)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — No, they weren’t pushed. Hundreds of people made the conscious decision to go out this cold New Year’s Day morning to take the Polar Bear Splash into Barton Springs Pool.

This was the 38th year to take the plunge, and admission to the pool was free all day Monday. With its constant 68-degree temperature – it seems the water may have felt nice compared with the freezing air temperature.

“The water — once you jump in — is pretty warm,” said Austin Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo. “It’s a lot warmer than the air. That’s why so many of us are hanging out here and not getting out.”

Organizers encourage people to come in group costumes and jump in all at once.

The event is hosted by the Save Our Springs Alliance.

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