Penguins and pirates plunging into New Year

Whether clad in jumpsuits, wetsuits, swimsuits or just plain old suits, Navarre Beach goers will be spending the first day of the year sloshing into the frigid waters along the shore in the classic New Year’s tradition of plunging.

This is a personal favorite.

The start of 2019 will be rung in for many by splashing around in the surf and sun, with two events coming to Navarre this year.

The Penguin Plunge ‘n Paddle at Juana’s Pagodas and Sailors’ Grill will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Participants will take the plunge into Santa Rosa Sound at 1:30 p.m., but starting an hour before that, the event will feature a stand-up Paddle Board Adventure Course. Rent a board and give it a try.

Immediately following the plunge, participants can “chill” with complimentary food, drinks, live music and a raffle under the beach tent. Raffle prizes will be drawn at 2 p.m.

All proceeds will benefit two organizations that help abused children and their families heal.

Registration is available online at Registration is $25 to plunge, $25 for those “too chicken” to plunge and $35 for those plunging and participating in the adventure course. A long-sleeve T-shirt is included with registration.

Shortly before the penguins dive, pirates will be plunging into the Gulf just east of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. The Pirate Plunge, hosted by Pirates on the Panhandle, will celebrate its second event with plunging at noon on New Year’s Day.

Local dignitaries such as Sheriff Bob Johnson, U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz, our Superintendent of Schools Tim Wyrosdick and even the County Commissioner will be making the plunge.

After the plunge, participants will be invited to enjoy food, drinks, live music and raffles under a heated tent.

The event will benefit the Weekend Food Program of Navarre, which provides weekend meals to hundreds of schoolchildren who might otherwise go hungry.

Registration to plunge and partake in the tent festivities is $20.

In plunging is not your thing (which I totally understand), a New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance has been added to the Pirates on the Panhandle events for this year. To be held at the Navarre Conference Center, the evening will offer a buffet, music and dancing. Tickets are $50, and funds will also benefit the Weekend Food Program.

Registration for both events is available at

Join us for a frigid fun time on beautiful Navarre Beach this New Year at