Polar Bear Skate at Union Square and annual Alcatraz swim kick off chilly events in SF

Photo by Aldric RIVAT on Unsplash


The annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Skate competition kicked off the New Year at Union Square Tuesday.

The temperature heated up to about 54 degrees, but that didn’t stop San Francisco from showing up and out in bikinis and Speedos to carry on the crazy tradition. The winner earned a night at the Hilton Union Square Hotel.

If that didn’t cool you down, just think of the hundred who braved The Bay for the Alcatraz New Year’s Day morning mile swim. Some started even before that with a naked bike ride and skinny dip into the ocean to celebrate the new year.

We’re cold.

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