January 02, 2014 - 8:56 AM
SUMMERLAND - There's nothing like throwing yourself into a freezing lake. Apparently it's a very Canadian thing to do.
Pinky Reidman of Summerland thought so. She's a recently landed immigrant from South Africa, only arrived in October, and was one of the hundreds who turned out on Wednesday to throw themselves into freezing Okanagan Lake waters for the 29th Summerland Kinsmen annual polar bear dip.
Reidman said this is a new beginning for her and a polar bear dip is a way to mark her arrival to Canada. While she plunged into the water as an individual many splashed in as part of a team. Some dressed up in Canada's colours while others cobbled together pieces from random costumes.
People cheered when they ran into the lake but half of them came back out shrieking for warmth, blankets, towels and a spot near several fires burning along the Sun-Oka Beach. Prizes were expected for best costume and best group costume, prizes for oldest and youngest.
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