Dinosaurs, acrobats and the Atlantic Ocean are just a few of the ways the Dolphin Dip will be helping people ring in the New Year on Sunday. 

The 15th annual event is expected to draw more than 7,500 people, most with the intention of plunging into the frigid ocean to wash away 2016 and start refreshed and ready to take on 2017. 

“You’re nervous about before you go in (the water),” Founder Brian Moxey said. “It is something you were afraid of and then you accomplish it. I think it makes some of your other resolutions more attainable.”  

Starting at 11 a.m. Surf City Beach Access with be teeming with family activities including performers like belly dancers and acrobats. 

Dinosaurs, provided by Dakota and Friends out of Charlotte will join the festivities with dinosaur puppets and rides. 

“He’s absolutely phenomenal,” Moxey said. “It was not just the kids lining up to take pictures with the dinosaurs, it was everybody. He just does a great job.”

Live music will also be a part of the events leading up to the big plunge. 

“It is going to be an action-packed hour of just plain fun,” Moxey said. “It is a great place where you get to see multiple generations of families coming together and just having fun.” 

Each year a different charity is chosen as the beneficiary of the funds raised, Moxey said.  

This year’s event proceeds will go to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. 

Funds are generated not only by the sale of the annual T-shirt, created each year by Topsail High School students, but funded plunge campaigns. 

Friends and families can donate money to see their loved one jump into the Atlantic Ocean. 

Generating money for causes helping build the community was not the only motivation behind the event’s creation, Moxey said. 

“While raising money is great, that is not my primary goal,” he said. “I hope everyone can appreciate where we live. We’re near the beach that can be enjoyed even during the winter. I hope the event can show people we need to be thankful for where we live and the environment that we have.”

A costume contest has become an event staple, with this year’s event being no different. 

Adult and child contests will take place with a variety of prizes going to the most elaborate and wacky. 

“Anything goes,” Moxey said. “We’ve seen some really creative and fun costumes.” 

With the water at a balmy 50 degrees, Moxey said it is warmer than it has been some years. 

While many people are afraid of getting in the cold water, it has never stopped a huge crowd from gathering, Moxey said. 

“I always tell people to come with something to swim in under their clothes. A lot of the time people get carried away with their emotions and end up swimming and really enjoying themselves,” he said.

The event starts at 11 a.m. with the horn of the icy jump sounding at noon sharp. 

For more information visit www.dolphindip.net or Facebook.com/dolphindip/