Bring in 2023 with a fresh, freezing polar bear dip in Kamloops, Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Bring in 2023 with a fresh, freezing polar bear dip in Kamloops, Okanagan

Polar Bear Dippers at Peachland's annual Dash and Splash New Year's Day event.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ City of Peachland

There is good news for those who think jumping into freezing cold water in winter temperatures is fun, as New Year’s Day polar bear swims, dips and splashes are about to take place in cities across the Thompson Okanagan.

Polar bears in the South Okanagan can meet at Sun-Oka Beach in Trout Creek for an icy dip at 12 p.m. on Jan. 1. The 37th annual dip put on by Kinsmen Club of Summerland is by donation with proceeds going to local families and community groups. Dippers can expect warming fires, hot chocolate and hot dogs following their freezing plunge.

Peachland’s annual Dash and Splash starts with a 2.2-kilometer walk or run along Beach Avenue and ends with a chilly splash in Okanagan Lake. Check-in for the run is at 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. at the Community Centre and the race starts at 10:30 a.m., while check-in for the swim is at 12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. in time for the splash at 1 p.m. at Swim Bay. The swim is free, but pre-check in and waiver signing is required.

Polar Bears in the Kelowna area can join the annual fun Kelowna Polar Bear Dip at Tugboat Beach, Waterfront Park at 1 p.m. on Jan. 1, with the icy plunge happening at 2 p.m. Music, prizes and food trucks will be on site. Tickets are required to participate in the dip while spectators are welcome to join in by donation. The swim is put on by Community Recreational Initiatives Society that works to make recreation accessible for all, and dippers are asked to come early to register and sign a waiver.

READ MORE: TRENDING NOW: Snow day for giant pandas

Moving North to Vernon, dippers have to wait until February to take their icy polar plunges, to wrap up the Vernon Winter Carnival. The swim is at the Paddlewheel Hall on Okanagan Landing Road. There will be a concession and fire pit, and a silent auction and market in the hall. Registration starts at 12 p.m. and the swim is at 1 p.m. There is a $10 registration fee or $25 for a family onsite. All money raised goes to help children in Zimbabwe.

Polar bears in the Shuswap can plunge into Shuswap Lake to welcome the New Year at 12 p.m. on Jan. 1. Dippers are meeting at the Scotch Creek Provincial Park boat launch at 11:30 a.m. where there will be a nice fire going down on the beach. Dippers are encouraged to bring a blanket, towel and flip flops.

Over in Kamloops the Kamloops Polar Bear Swim is happening at Riverside Park at 12 p.m. on New Year’s Day. Dippers are cautioned to wear something on their feet to protect from rocks, to bring lots of friends, and to wear a costume or a bikini. Participants are asked to make a donation to the food bank the following day if they are able to.

READ MORE: Where to see fireworks on New Years Eve in Kamloops, Okanagan

—Did we miss any fun, freezing polar bear dips in the Kamloops, Okanagan area? Let us know in the comments. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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