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Plunge into the New Year at two South Okanagan beaches

Summerland Kinsmen Polar Bear Dip is now into its 37th year
With a windchill of -17 C, over 50 people braved frigid waters in Summerland to plunge into the New Year of 2022. (Monique Tamminga/Western News)

Naramata will have its first Polar Bear Swim on Jan. 1.

Will van Middendorp helped organize the frigid dip into the new year which will take place at Centre Beach from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., with the actual countdown for the dip taking place around 1 p.m.

The forecast calls for around 1 C on Jan. 1. That’s definitely better than the lows of -25 the past couple of weeks.

Naramata volunteer fire department will be there, collecting donations for the fire hall.

They will also be there setting up some fires and hot chocolate.

Van Middendrop is still looking for some Gluhwein/Mulled Wine, so reach out if you can help with that.

“You don’t need to actually jump in if you don’t want to. It’s also a great way of saying Happy New Year to your friends and neighbours,” said Middendorp.

The 37th annual Summerland Kinsmen Polar Bear Dip will take place at Sun Oka beach, starting at noon. Divers from Penticton Search and Rescue will be present at the event. Warming fires, hot dogs, hot chocolate and event shirts will be available by donation.

It was a freezing, windy, cold plunge into 2022 for about 60 (crazy) people who braved icy waters to take part in the 36th annual Summerland Polar Bear Dip at Sunoka Beach on Jan. 1.

The wind was debilitating, and with outside temperatures of -9 C and a windchill of -17 to -19 C, it was probably one of the coldest, harshest polar bear plunges ever done at Sunoka.

Check out this video of the 2015 Summerland Polar Bear Dip.

PHOTOS: Brave Summerland souls take an ice-cold plunge into 2022

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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