Cold can’t stop New Jersey’s New Years celebrations
SEASIDE HEIGHTS — The frigid temperatures have put the freeze on some New Years celebrations, but others are proceeding as planned.
A Wind Chill Advisory goes into effect at 9 p.m. on Sunday for much of the state for temperatures in the single digits to combine with gusty winds that will make it feel below zero.
"As wind chills fall below zero (possibly as low as -15), we fall into "dangerous" cold territory. Frostbite can affect exposed skin in a matter of minutes. Needless to say, bundle up," Townsquare chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
Seaside Heights Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz said the fireworks scheduled for 5 p.m. have been cancelled. However, the "family friendly" First Night Ocean County events on Sunday afternoon went on as scheduled inside several arcades along the boardwalk.
The cold will not deter First Night Ocean City events at 19 locations on Sunday afternoon. "It's a little cold here but we look good for tonight," executive director Michelle Gillian said.
The First Day Run/Walk at the Beach was canceled for Monday because of boardwalk construction. Gillian said part of the run was moved to adjoining neighborhoods which she said were not up for a large run.
The First Day Polar Plunge was canceled earlier due to the cold.
Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson ended their season early due to the cold and did not open on New Years Eve or New Year's Day for the final days of their Holiday in the Park celebration.
The Sons of Ireland plan to continue their icy tradition with their Polar Bear Plunge in Asbury Park on Monday. "We know others have canceled but you better believe that we will be at Convention Hall in Asbury Park on Monday," organizers wrote on their Facebook page.
First Night Morris County Executive Director Craig Schlosser said his event, which rings in its 26th new year on Sunday with children's programs, music, dance, comedy and other events, was designed to protect participants from the elements.
"All 24 of our performances are at indoor venues. Some venues like Morristown High School have six venues within it. We have direct shuttle bus service to about two-thirds of our venues and those that don't have a one block walk," Schlosser said.
A spokesperson for the Battleship New Jersey said the deck of the ship docked in Camden will still be open to watch the Philadelphia fireworks display over the Delaware River with music, face painting for kids, food concessions, and bar service for adults.
Displays are also scheduled in Haddonfield, at the and Sea Isle City that I need to check on. And of course there’s the Times Square celebration that goes on no matter the weather.
Zarrow said New Jersey has now been stuck below freezing for roughly 130+ consecutive hours, and according to the latest forecasts we still have some of the most extreme cold of this stretch still to come, as we ring in 2018.
If you are outdoors it is recommended to dress in layers, to wear a hat, and avoid alcohol since it can accelerate the loss of body heat. The National Weather Service said the cold can create frostbite in as little as 30 minutes on exposed skin.
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