PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Philippi will host their 16th annual Polar Plunge at the covered bridge at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 1.

The good news about this year’s Polar Plunge is that the temperature should be around 60 degrees outside; the bad news is that the Tygart Valley River near the Philippi Covered Bridge is in flood stage.

The goal for the Plunge each year is to get people to donate to the Barbour County Emergency Medical Squad. For the Polar Plunge in 2020, the Barbour River Rats raised over $2,000.

“[A] Local person said, I like to do it because, he said, if I can do this the first of the year, I can do anything. I just want everyone out there to have a happy new year and for everybody to be healthy and pay attention to your local first responders. They’re extremely important and they get overlooked so many times,” said Sam Muncy, Barbour River Rats.

Everyone is invited to either participate in the plunge or just come and watch. All are encouraged to donate to the cause.

Donation amounts are not specified, in 2020, they received anything from $20 to $400.