The Polar Bear Dip, a New Year’s Day tradition in Summerland, will return for Jan. 1, 2022. The 2021 dip was cancelled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press file photo)

The Polar Bear Dip, a New Year’s Day tradition in Summerland, will return for Jan. 1, 2022. The 2021 dip was cancelled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press file photo)

Summerland Polar Bear Dip to return

Jan. 1 event at Sunoka Beach will welcome in the new year

Summerland’s annual Polar Bear Dip will return on Jan. 1 as a way to welcome in the new year.

The 36th annual Summerland Kinsmen Polar Bear Dip will be held at Sunoka Beach in Summerland, with swimmers dashing into Okanagan Lake for a quick, chilly swim at noon. Divers from Penticton Search and Rescue will be present as well.

READ ALSO: Near balmy conditions for South Okanagan Polar Bear Dip

READ ALSO: Summerland Polar Bear Dip cancelled

The Jan. 1, 2021 event was cancelled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers are asking that everyone at the event adheres to the latest provincial COVID-19 guidelines and protocols and that people spread out and use more of the available beach area.

Frederik Numsen, president of the Summerland Kinsmen Club, said the last few years have been mild on New Year’s Day, but he anticipates cold weather for the upcoming event.

“Regardless, I always love this event due to its unpredictability and shared traditions in our community,” he said.

Warming fires, hot dogs, hot chocolate and event shirts are in the works, but individual and group costume prizes have been removed from this year’s event.

Those who are unable to attend but wish to make a donation to the Kinsmen Club of Summerland are asked to visit summerlandkinsmen.com/events/polar-bear-dip or send a cheque to Summerland Kinsmen, Box 686, Summerland BC, V0H 1Z0.

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