L Sreet Brownies Take Their Annual Plunge

Are they crazy . . . or just incredibly fit and brave?

Ever since 1904, the L Street Brownies celebrate the New Year by plunging into the icy waters of Dorchester Bay and raising money for local charities. If you're visiting Boston and want to have a true "insider" experience of our real culture - head to Carson Beach/L Street Beach for this famous Boston event on January 1.

Between about 500 and 1,000 swimmers participate in the New Year event. Irish bagpipers usually play until they also jump in the water. A large crowd of friends and onlookers cheer the swimmers on while passing around towels, vitamin C, and flasks.

Many of the L Street Brownies, a polar bear swim club formed in 1902 and named after the L Street Bathhouse in South Boston, swim here daily throughout the year. Although most members appear to be 50-something or younger, a number are in their 80s and 90s and attribute their strong immune systems to the daily exercise and icy water.

When: Friday, January 1, 2016 at 9:30am (Registration for those making the plunge starts at 8am)

Where: L Street Bathhouse at Curley Community Center (617-635-5104), 1663 Columbia Road, Carson Beach, South Boston
Closest T station: Red Line/JFK-UMass Station; walk half a mile to the Curley Community Center. Alternately, take the T Red Line to Broadway Station and transfer to the #9 or #11 City Point bus.

Note: MBTA subway and buses run on a holiday schedule in New Year's Day; expect more of a wait than usual

Parking: Available along Day Blvd

Cost: Free

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