Shorts and a T-shirt required on NJ roller coaster this weekend
It's rough enough riding a roller coaster in chilly weather. Doing it in shorts and a tank-top — that's on a whole other level.
But that's exactly what's happening midday Saturday at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson.
To benefit Special Olympics New Jersey, riders will board the 230-foot-fall Nitro in summer clothes. They can don a hat and gloves if they fear they can't handle the winter chill.
Pre-registration for the Polar Coaster Challenge is not required, but the park already has a roster of hopefuls from New Jersey and beyond signed up for the Dec. 7 event.
Included on that list is New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow, who's emceeing the event and serving as the event's weather man.
"Never in my meteorology career have I been able to combine my love for weather and roller coasters into a single event," Zarrow said.
Zarrow has done the math — with an air temperature around 32 degrees at the noon start time, and a ride speed of 80 mph, riders will be dealing with a feels-like temperature of 11 degrees.
"It's only for a short period of time, so I'm not that nervous about frostbite or hypothermia. Chapped lips might be a different story, though," Zarrow said.
Funds for Special Olympics come in the form of a $2 donation for every ticket purchased online with the promo code "Polar." A donation is also going to the cause for every on-ride photo sold.
Nitro will run continuously until 12:45, and guests can ride as many times as they'd like, as long as they're dressed like it's mid July. The theme park opens to the public at 1 p.m.
"This is our first time hosting the event, but it won't be our last," said a Six Flags Great Adventure spokesperson. "Next year, we plan to expand our partnership with Special Olympics New Jersey to include personal fund raising by the participants, similar to the Polar Bear Plunge."
Each rider this year will receive a certificate commemorating their participation.