Corrianne Henson of Penticton exits the frigid waters of Okanagan Lake Monday during the annual Summerland Kinsmen New Year’s Day Polar Bear Dip. Mark Brett/Western News

Swimmers prepare for icy plunge at Summerland beach

Polar Bear Dip will be held at noon on New Year’s Day

Dedicated swimmers will begin the new year with a short but chilly swim in Okanagan Lake at the 35th annual Polar Bear Dip on Jan. 1.

The swim, organized by the Summerland Kinsmen Club, will take place at Sunoka Beach at noon.

It is expected to draw around 100 participants and another 300 people watching from the beach. Participants include residents and visitors to the community.

READ ALSO: Chilling out in Summerland

Frederik Numsen of the Summerland Kinsmen Club said the icy swim is a pleasant way to start the new year.

“It’s very invigorating, that’s for sure,” he said.

He encourages participants to wear shoes or sandals for the swim, since feet will become numb in the cold water.

He also suggests those who participate should enjoy the chilling water, but not try to stay in for a long time.

The Polar Bear Dip is a fundraiser for the club, and the money raised will stay in the community for various service projects.

“Every dollar we raise in the community stays in the community,” Numsen said.

This year, one of the projects is a gazebo near the site of the former West Summerland train station.

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