Swimmers to participate in Polar Bear Dip

Swimmers to participate in Polar Bear Dip

Summerland Kinsmen Club organizes icy plunge on New Year’s Day

For some brave Summerlanders, the new year will start with an icy swim in Okanagan Lake as the Summerland Kinsmen Club holds its annual Polar Bear Dip.

The swim, at Sunoka Beach, will begin at noon on New Year’s Day.

Blair Gillingham, president of the Kinsmen Club, said 100 to 150 swimmers are expected to participate this year and between 300 and 400 will be at the beach observing the quick, chilly swim.

The service club will have prizes for costumes for the best male, best female, oldest, youngest and best team in the swim.

Gillingham, who has participated as a swimmer in the past, suggests participants have good footwear for icy, snowy conditions.

“Speaking from experience, flip-flops are not optimal,” he said. “My flip-flop went sideways.”

He added that the participants should also bring clothing that is easy to put on after the swim.

He said getting dressed after the chilly plunge is difficult, as fingers, hands, toes and knees do not want to flex.

While the water is cold, he said the event is a good way to start the new year.

“It’s not really all that bad,” he said. “It was probably the best of the worst feelings I felt on Jan. 1.”

Fires will be set up on the beach and hot chocolate will be available for the participants.

The event also serves as a fundraiser for the service club. This year, the Summerland Kinsmen Club purchased hampers for needy families within the community. The club also raises funds for other community initiatives.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The regional district’s Penticton offices. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Building and bylaw service up in 2020 for RDOS

More complaints were resolved and building permits issued in 2020 than 2019

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Aidan & Mandy will play a live-streamed show at the Venables Theatre, Saturday, Jan. 23. (Contributed photo)
Penticton’s own Aidan & Mandy in concert Saturday, Jan. 23

The live show will be streamed from Venables Theatre in Oliver

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a single-vehicle rollover Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after a vehicle came into contact with a pedestrian light pole at Kalamalka Lake Road and 14th Avenue. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Minor injuries in rollover after vehicle hits Vernon crosswalk pole

The vehicle flipped onto its side, closing Kalamalka Lake Road

Esa Carriere, 23, was the victim of a 2018 Canada Day homicide. (File)
Youth sentenced in Kelowna Canada Day killing

Young woman pleaded guilty to lesser assault charge, sentenced to 15-month intensive support and supervision program

A rendering of UBC’s planned downtown Kelowna campus. (Contributed)
Kelowna’s new downtown campus to help alleviate UBCO’s space crunch

The sizable development is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2024 semester

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

A petition to spare the Mount Rose Swanson area from logging later this year has eclipsed 21,000 signatures as of Jan. 20, 2021. (Rose Swanson Mountain/Facebook)
Controversial logging will cut 4% of ‘sensitive’ Armstrong forest area: Ministry

A petition to spare the Rose Swanson area from logging has eclipsed 21,000 signatures

Vernon firefighters douse a fire inside a cardboard bin behind the Shops at Polson off Highway 6 Wednesday, Jan. 20. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Dumpster fire behind Vernon shopping mall

Vernon Fire Rescue Services respond doused recycling bin fire backing onto Polson Park

Most Read