Ring in 2017 with a Chilly Swim
There are all sorts of traditions and festivities to help ring in a brand new year. You might eat 12 grapes at midnight to symbolise 12 months of good luck, or open and close your back door right at midnight to say good bye to the negativity of the previous year (we’re looking at you, 2016). One way us crazy Canucks like to show the new year a little hospitality is by jumping into freezing cold water because… why not!
Dating back to 1920, thousands of West Coasters shimmy down to their swimsuits on the first of January and jump into massive, and freezing, bodies of water like bays and rivers. It sounds insane, but event-goers have an absolute blast, and start off their year with an adrenaline pumping, out-of-this-world experience. Canadians certainly aren’t the only ones who partake in polar bear swims, the United States, The United Kingdom, and the Netherlands each have their incarnations of the event. Metro Vancouver has the highest concentration of New Years Day swims, and one the more popular swims is held in White Rock.
This year marks White Rock’s 57th Polar Bear Swim where locals and visitors take a dip in the Semiahmoo Bay. There’s no need to pre-register, so those who thrive on impulse can make that game-time decision. The event takes place at White Rock Beach, just beside the white rock. Be sure to bring lots of warm layers, and pick up a hot chocolate afterwards.
For those who are a bit more sheepish, the South Surrey Indoor Pool hosts a family friendly afternoon of games and activities in a heated pool.
White Rock Polar Bear Swim
Date: January 1, registration at 11:00am, swim at 12:00pm
Location: White Rock Beach
Warm Polar Bear Swim
Date: January 1, 1:00 – 4:00pm
South Surrey Indoor Pool, 14655 17 Ave