There’s no better, more invigorating way to start 2020 fresh than with an icy polar bear swim!
Here are 5 New Year’s Day polar bear swims happening on Vancouver Island:
The Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department hosts their annual Polar Bear Swim at Whiffin Spit. Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. with a cannon start at noon!
- When: Wednesday, January 1st, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
- Where: Whiffin Spit, Sooke
The second annual Esquimalt Polar Bear Swim offers the chance to “symbolically wash away 2019 and dive into 2020 refreshed,”.
This year’s event includes a ceremonial first dive, a traditional “Welcome” by the Songhees Nation and two contests for Best Costume and for First In / Fully Submerged.
Attendees are asked to bring a suggested donation of $5, but interested parties can pay $30 for a commemorative t-shirt, a gear check, and a seat underneath the outdoor heaters.
- When: Wednesday, January 1st, 11:30 a.m.
- Where: Esquimalt Lagoon, Colwood
A Sidney annual favourite! Participants can access Glass Beach via the beach access at the end of Beacon Avenue. Participation is by donation.
- When: Wednesday, January 1st, 12:00 p.m.
- Where: Glass Beach, Sidney
The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue and Parksville Fire Department host the annual Polar Bear Splash at Parksville Beach. Sign in onsite at 11:30 a.m. for a chance to win a prize at this free event.
- When: Wednesday,January 1st, 12:00 p.m.
- Where: Parksville & Qualicum Beach
Immerse yourself in the chilly waters of the Juan de Fuca Strait with this long time Metchosin tradition.
At 1:00 p.m, participants warm up for the swim with a six-kilometre run and a three-kilometre walk. This warm up will bring participants to Taylor Beach just in time for their icy swim.
- When: Wednesday, January 1st. Warm up begins at 1:00 p.m, swim at 2:00 p.m.
- Where: Taylor Beach, Metchosin
Gorge Swim Fest is hosting their annual Polar Bear Swim at the Gorge Waterway in Saanich.
Present yourself at Banfield Dock by noon for a freezing good time!
- When: Wednesday, January 1st, 12 p.m.
- Where: Banfield Dock, Gorge Waterway, 521 Craigflower Road