Participants in the annual Lobster Dip that benefits Special Olympics Maine make their way out of the water in Old Orchard Beach in this 2020 photo. Shawn Patrick Ouellette Photo/Portland Press Herald

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — What are you doing on New Year’s Day?

It is not too early to make plans — and in fact, it is the perfect time, organizers say, to register for the annual Lobster Dip – the Jan. 1 plunge into the Atlantic Ocean in Old Orchard Beach to benefit Special Olympics Maine.

Those who dip, or double dip —making the plunge twice — can do so at 10:30 a.m. or at noon on New Year’s Day, in front of the Brunswick Hotel at 39 West Grand Ave. Check-in begins at 9 a.m.

It is an adventure organizer say, that will be in its 35th on Jan. 1, 2023.

The Lobster Dip was first held in 1989 at East End Beach in Portland.

To participate, register and raise a minimum of $100 for Special Olympics Maine, to join in. People must pre-register at: and set up a fundraising page, collect online donations and more.


There are incentives, like a 2023 Lobster Dip commemorative T-shirt for raising $100 to $249; a 1/4 zip or hoodie for those who raise $250-$499; $500-$999 earns dippers an Eddie Bauer jacket or Lobster Dip tote bag; and those who raise $1,000 or more can get warm with a North Face jacket.

There are prizes like live lobsters for “Top Lobster,” the individual participant raising the most over $1,000;and for  teams that raise $2,500,  and more.

In 2022, the Lobster Dip was billed “Back to the Beach” because 2021 was a virtual event. The 2022 dip raised more than $100,000 for Special Olympics’ statewide, year-round program of sports training and athletic competitions for more than 5,100 adults and children who have intellectual disabilities. This year, organizers are hoping to raise an equal amount, or more.

The event is a crustacean celebration — complete with bragging rights.

“This is Maine’s largest and original ocean plunge,” said Lisa Bird of Special Olympics Maine.

People who plan to dip should bring beach shoes or old sneakers to wear into the water, a towel, or a blanket for when they emerge from the water, and dry clothes. And enthusiasm, lots of it.

Comments are not available on this story.