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Polar Bear Swim back for 93rd edition on January 1

December 24 2012

Scene from the 2009 Polar Bear Swim

Kick start 2013 by taking a dip in English Bay on New Year’s Day. Join thousands of hardy Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club members for this free community event at 2:30 p.m. on January 1.

Swimmers have been starting the New Year by plunging into the chilly waters of English Bay since 1920. Each year thousands converge on the beach for Vancouver’s Polar Bear Swim. Wear a costume and compete in the Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race, or just come out to watch and enjoy the fun!

“The Polar Bear swim is a great Vancouver tradition and has been part of many people’s holiday to-do lists including mine,” says Park Board Chair Sarah Blyth. “If you are joining us, please help make a difference by bringing a non-perishable food item or cash donation for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.”

Polar Bear Swim tips:

  • Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. at the English Bay bathhouse
  • Registration is free and includes membership in the Polar Bear Swim Club and a commemorative button (limited quantity)
  • Swim starts at 2:30 p.m. sharp
  • First three swimmers to reach the marker buoy in the 100 yard race receive trophies
  • Swimmers should have a warm blanket or change of clothes handy
  • If you have a heart problem - just watch!
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Dog owners are asked to leave their pets at home

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank will be accepting donations of non-perishable food or cash.

Learn more about the Vancouver polar bear swim