Start off 2017 the right way by plunging into the frigid waters of English Bay to ring in the New Year.
The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim is a tradition dating back to 1920 when 10 brave swimmers took a cool dip into English Bay on January 1.
The Polar Bear swim has since attracted thousands of thrill-seeking Vancouverites every year, so come down and join the city in doing New Year’s Day right.
A few guidelines, from the City of Vancouver:
- If you have heart problems, don’t risk it. Enjoy the show!
- Children must be with an adult in and out of the water.
- For safety’s sake, leave your dog at home.
- Alcohol accelerates hypothermia, so don’t drink.
- Don’t stay in the water fore more than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
- Don’t remove clothing until the swim starts.
- Entrants in the 100 yard race – meet in the front line on the north side (Stanley Park side) of the enclosure.
- If you’re one of the first three swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat make sure to give your name to the lifeguard.
- Pick up your commemorative button at the large polar bear or at the registration table following the swim.
- Warm up with coffee or hot chocolate.
Where: English Bay Bathhouse – 1700 Beach Avenue, Vancouver
When: Sunday, January 1, 2017. From 2:30 t0 3:30 pm. Come early for registration.
Cost: Free. Participants must register online. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank will be accepting donations of non-perishable food or cash – please be generous!