Shiver me timbers! Fenwick Freeze returning Jan. 1

Date Published: 
Dec. 29, 2017

What’s it like to jump in the Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day?

“It’s not as bad as it seems,” said Becca McWilliams, organizer of the Fenwick Freeze. “You go in so fast, and your adrenaline is pretty pumped at that point. You’re in and out before you feel how cold it is. … If you do it, you really feel good after you do it. It’s kind of exhilarating.”

Similarly brave souls can participate in the 14th Annual Fenwick Freeze on Monday, Jan. 1, at 11:30 a.m. at Bayard Street in Fenwick Island.

“It’s a good away to star the new year. Kind of a cleanse, you know?” said McWilliams, who swears she never catches a cold in the years she splashes in the ocean on New Year’s Day.

Participants should have warm gear for afterward, such as towels, blankets, coats, boots or even coffee or hot chocolate.

“Jump in at 11:30, and be done at 11:35!” she said with a laugh.

The Freeze itself is free and open to the public. Long-sleeved event T-shirts (charcoal gray with a teal mermaid design) can be purchased beforehand for $20, or $25 on the day of the event. Proceeds from shirt sales will benefit the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol summer competitions, which often lead to several local guards competing at the national level. People can also donate cash if they don’t want the shirt.

People have two chances to buy shirts: Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fenwick Island Town Hall and on Monday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the beach. Details and shirt purchase forms are online at

“Come out and support the local beach patrol. It’s a great way to start your new year,” McWilliams said.

Also at the Freeze, winners will be announced for the “Find Freezy the Snowman” shopping contest, which customers of Fenwick businesses entered in December.