Channel your inner polar bear during icy plunge in Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Polar Bear Swim, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015.

KELOWNA - Polar bear swims have become a traditional way to welcome the new year for many people and residents of the Central Okanagan are no exception.

There will be two to choose from the region, one in Kelowna and another in Peachland, and those willing to go a bit further also have the option of taking part in the Summerland swim, which has been running annually for more than 30 years.

The second annual Kelowna Polar Bear Dip takes place at 2 p.m. in Tugboat Bay at Waterfront Park on Jan. 1.

The event is held as a fundraiser for the Community Recreational Initiatives Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing outdoor activities for people with disabilities.

Peachland Parks and Recreation is also holding its annual Polar Bear Swim Friday, Jan. 1.

Would-be polar bears are advised to check in at 12:30 p.m. in the community centre before getting ready for a splash and dash into Okanagan Lake.

Underage bears must get a parent to sign a waiver for participation.

To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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