Polar Plunge 2014: The do’s and don’ts of costumes

During the winter season it’s common knowledge to bundle up with layers and stay warm.

For Central Michigan University students and the local community, it was a different story this past weekend. On Saturday, Special Olympics Michigan hosted the 2014 Polar Plunge at Rose Ponds.  All proceeds from the event benefited Special Olympics Michigan, which is a program designed to offer sporting opportunities to people who have intellectual disabilities.

The majority of registered participants wore costumes that reflected a sense of personal style as they plunged into the icy pond. While participants were able to show off their creative side through their costumes. Lead teacher Nate Jonaitis offered tips on how to make sure you stand out and what avoid to so you don’t get lost in a crowd if you plan to attend a future Polar Plunge.


  • Be creative, original and think outside the box.
  • Less clothes can sometimes be better. It’s important you have to come out of the water and those clothes are going to hold the water even under the blanket.
  • Enlist the help of others with your creations. Your friends and family can be good resources.
  • Group costumes are always fun.
  • Bring “repair” items with you, i.e. duct tape, needle and thread, hot glue gun, etc. in case there is a fashion emergency while getting ready on site.
  • Have fun.


  • Not dress up. It’s half the fun.
  • Wear a store bought costume or rent one. You are jumping into Rose Pond and you will more than likely have to buy the costume.
  • Use batting. It becomes very heavy and slows the time for you to make a quick exit.
  • Spend too much time making the costume perfect.

Costumes ranged from simple tutus to elaborate get-ups, and participants wore anything from swimsuits to full-body costumes. There were several crowd favorites, including a group of Teletubbies, a knight in shining armor, a narwhal and a giant taco. Another couple came as Rose and Jack from “Titanic.” Still others were loofahs, pirates, and superheros. And the Central gear was plentiful.

Jonaitis, who dressed as a giant mustache/top hat combination, said it’s fun to prepare for the Polar Plunge by making costumes but to not let that be the primary focus.

“The only thing that really matters is the money we raise for all the outstanding athletes,” he said.

Polar Plunge Schedule:

2/22 : 2014 U of M Polar Plunge

2/22 : 2014 Kalamazoo Polar Plunge

2/22 : 2014 Holland Polar Plunge

2/22 : 2014 Alpena Polar Plunge

2/22 : 2014 Saginaw/Bay City Polar Plunge

2/22 : 2014 Chippewa Lake Polar Plunge

2/22 : 2014 Belleville Polar Plunge

2/22 : 2014 Caro Polar Plunge

2/23 : 2014 Lansing Polar Plunge

2/23 : 2014 St. Clair Polar Plunge

2/27 : 2014 Legislative Polar Plunge

3/15 : 2014 Marquette Polar Plunge