If there’s any way to kick off a new year, it’s dousing yourself in ice cold water – at least that’s what thousands of Vancouverites think.
The annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim is back again this year to please the thickest skinned swimmers in our city. The 2015 free community event will take place on January 1 at 2:30 p.m.
Swimmers have been starting the New Year by plunging into the chilly waters of English Bay since 1920 when the Polar Bear Swim was started by Peter Pantages. The swim, which is hosted by the Vancouver Park Board, has remained largely unchanged over the years. Wear a costume, compete in the Peter Pantages Memorial 100-Yard Swim Race, or just come out to watch and enjoy the fun!
“The Polar Bear Swim is a great Vancouver tradition and has been part of many people’s holiday to-do lists,” said Park Board Chair Niki Sharma. “If you are joining us, please help make a difference by bringing a non-perishable food item or cash donation for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.”
The Cactus Club Café at English Bay will be giving out free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate with a donation to the Food Bank.
Register for free starting at 12:30 p.m. at the English Bay Bathhouse.
Bring supplies to stay warm – a towel, blanket, change of clothes, and warm outerwear – and know your limits in the cold water. Avoid diving into the water.
Children must be accompanied by an adult, and please keep your dogs at home.
The first three swimmers to reach the marker buoy in the 100-yard race will receive trophies. Commemorative Polar Bear Swim Club buttons will be available to bathers after the swim (limited quantity).
Limited edition commemorative t-shirts will be on sale.
Date: Thursday, January 1, 2015
Start Time: 2:30 p.m. (registration begins at 12:30 p.m. at English Bay Bathhouse)
Location: English Bay Boathouse
Images: Kuna Photography Group
Feature Image: Mark Klotz via Flickr