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.

Just Posted

Winter Solstice is coming, to Penhenge on Dec. 21

The annual gathering at the top of Munson Mountain celebrates the longest night of the year.

Vee’s go one-and-one in weekend games against Vernon

The Vees took a 0-2 loss on Friday in Vernon and came back to Penticton for a 4-1 win on Saturday.

Old Christmas card has ties to Summerland agriculture

Card was sent by former director of Summerland Research Station

Auntie Says: Be thoughtful of others around this time of year

Christmas and holidays in general can serve as painful reminders of loss for some

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Pacioretty scores 2, Golden Knights top Canucks 6-3

Vegas goalie Fleury gets win No. 452

In Photos: CP Rail Holiday Train lights up the Shuswap

The stop on the train’s Canada-wide journey came with a $5,500 donation to local food bank.

Penticton Vees earn split with Vernon Vipers

Vees victorious 4-1 at home in back end of home-and-home series

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Kelowna RCMP officer suspended after allegedly sexting assault victim

RCMP confirm investigation but hold back details

Legendary primatologist coming to Okanagan

Dame Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, will present in Vernon Tuesday, March 24

Frosty will have to pay rent to stay on Okanagan sidewalk next Christmas

Vernon Teach and Learn allowed to keep Frosty up, but will need a permit come January 1

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Most Read