SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - Thousands packed the beach Tuesday for Surf City’s 17th Annual Dolphin Dip.
Clad in everything from exercise clothing to a dinosaur costume, participants ran into the Atlantic to start 2019 refreshed.
“Well, tradition is that you’re supposed to go in and wait for the first wave to wipe away the last year and bring in a new fresh year," said Misty Locklear. "So that’s what we’re expecting.”
Locklear traveled from Clinton to take the plunge.
Like similar events around the country, the Dolphin Dip is a tradition that marks New Year’s Day and raises money for charity. Surf City’s event benefits Share the Table, a food pantry that feeds more than 1,000 people a week.
This year, however, the event also represented a new chapter for Surf City, a community damaged by Hurricane Florence.
“The hurricane has made it a hard year," Surf City Mayor Doug Medlin said. "That’s why I think everybody’s looking forward to the new year. Hopefully we’re going to have a lot better year this year.”
Others, such as Lee Sewell, agreed.
Sewell and her friends have been coming to the Dolphin Dip for years, and were happy to see the town getting back on its feet after the storm.
“I thought the town did a great job putting this event together," she said, "and I thought the people really needed to rally and show that they were wanting to see this town get back together and I thought there was just a great turnout.”