Kick off your new year with a dip in the South Thompson at the Kamloops Polar Bear Swim | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kick off your new year with a dip in the South Thompson at the Kamloops Polar Bear Swim

FILE PHOTO - Participants in the Kamloops Polar Bear Swim didn`t linger long on the icy waters of the South Thompson River in Riverside Park, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015.
December 28, 2015 - 8:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - Whether it’s on your bucket list or if you want to wash 2015 off with icy cold water, the annual polar bear swim will happen in Kamloops on Jan. 1.

Linda Gayfer, who helps arrange the event, says no matter why you choose to jump in the South Thompson River the event is a great opportunity for a fundraiser; all participants are encouraged to bring a can of food or cash to donate to the food bank.

“Right at noon we sort of do a countdown and then everyone screams and runs in,” Gayfer says. “Honestly there’s nothing like it. You can’t call it a polar bear swim until you’ve walked through snow and ice just to get to the water."

Swimmers are advised to bring something to wear on their feet. Gayfer says when it comes to what you should wear it’s a matter of picking your poison. Some feel as though it’s better to wear only a swimsuit so you can quickly strip out of it. Others, she says, opt to wear costumes instead.

Gayfer hopes to beat last year’s fundraising efforts. The 2015 swim had around 100 participants and brought in 218 pounds of food along with $100 cash, which was donated to the food bank.

Swimmers should arrive at the Riverside Park beach before noon.

For more information visit the event Facebook page here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

— This story was updated at 7:50 a.m., Dec. 29, 2015, to correct the name of the river.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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