While I am certainly not jealous of people that participate in polar bear plunges, an increasing number of Canadians apparently can’t get enough.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a polar bear swim has nothing to do with the furry white animals that you see at the zoo. They are actually annual events held in different cities across North America where participants enter a body of water despite the low temperature. They typically take place in January to signal the start of the New Year. More and more cities sign up to host the events as a way to raise money for a local charity. There is:
- Polar Bear Plunge Vancouver (which features its own Polar Bear Swim Club)
- Polar Bear Plunge Edmonton
- Polar Bear Plunge Calgary
- Polar Bear Plunge Ottawa
- Polar Bear Plunge Toronto
- Polar Bear Plunge Clarington
- Polar Bear Plunge Sarnia
- Polar Bear Plunge Montreal
- Polar Bear Plunge Halifax
In the States, participating locations include:
- Polar Bear Plunge Seattle
- Polar Bear Plunge New York City
- Polar Bear Plunge Boston
- Polar Bear Plunge New Jersey
Campbellford is the latest Ontario domain for the event and its “Polar Bear Winter Festival” takes place on January 26 at 12 p.m at Lions Park Beach (6053 County Road 50, Campbellford ON). While details are still being worked on, a local couple will also use the event as a backdrop to renew their wedding vows. In addition, the Trent Hills Fire Department will also give an Ice Water Rescue demonstration. The event drew 30 plungers last year and the number of participants is only expected to increase in 2013.
Proceeds support the Campbellford Memorial Hospital Auxiliery. To participate, plunge, or pledge a donation… contact Pat Bannister at 1-800-653-1556.
If you are thinking about making a Weekendtrip of the event (and why wouldn’t you be?), there are some great accommodation options in the Trent Hills area including Sandy Bay Cottages (92 Sandy Bay Road, Hastings ON), The Doors Guest House (29 Front Street E., Hastings ON) and Lured Away Cottages (118 Front Street W., Hastings ON). For more information on these, check out visittrenthills.ca