FILE - Nicky Joosting heading out of the water at the first annual Harrison polar bear swim. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

FILE - Nicky Joosting heading out of the water at the first annual Harrison polar bear swim. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Polar dip roundup: 3 places around Agassiz and Harrison to take the plunge on New Year’s Day

These three events all promise a frigid start to your new year

Residents of Harrison and Agassiz will be among thousands of Canadians who ring in the new year by plunging into wintry waterbodies.

Whether you’re just looking to dip your toes in the water (literally) or you’re a returning thrill seeker with a thirst for new scenery, this roundup of nearby New Year’s Day swims is for you.

1. Harrison Lake Polar Bear Swim

The Harrison Hot Springs Fire Department will be hosting the second annual Harrison Polar Bear Swim on Jan. 1, 2020 at Harrison Beach, just west of the plaza.

Swimmers register at 11 a.m. and enter the water at noon, and early registration is available at Agassiz-Harrison Community Services.

During the event, donations of food and cash will be accepted for the Agassiz Harrison Community Services food bank.

RELATED: Participants take the plunge in first Harrison polar bear swim

Added plus? People who want to warm up post-swim will have a quick trip to the Harrison Hot Springs Public Pool down the street. Admission at the pool costs $10 for adults and $7.75 for seniors and children, and toddlers under the age of four are free.

At the inaugural event last year, 70 people in bathing suits and costumes jumped into the lake despite single digit temperatures.

2. Harrison Mills Penguin Plunge

The Harrison Mills Penguin Plunge will also begin assembly at 11 a.m. and start at noon on Jan. 1, 2020.

The event, now in its eighth year, takes place down river from the polar swim at Kilby Provincial Park.

Organizer David Hay said brave souls who take the plunge and spectators alike are invited to come by and socialize to celebrate the new year.

Hay started the event as the sole swimmer, with just his wife and neighbours watching.

RELATED: Penguin Plunge

Photos from the 2019 Harrison Mills Penguin Plunge. (David Hay/Contributed)

3. Kawkawa Lake Polar Bear Swim

If you’re looking for an event with a bit of a later start, consider making the short drive up to the 2020 Hope, Cascades and Canyons Polar Bear Swim.

The annual event starts at noon at Kawkawa Lake with the Hope Lions Club providing hot chocolate, popcorn, hot dogs and a 20-foot-long fire pit.

Swimmers will then line the beach just before 1 p.m., and wait for leader Brian McKinney to do a countdown.

Remember — whichever event you choose — bring towels and warm clothing to change into after you exit the water.

RELATED: Slideshow — Polar Bear Swim

Hosting a New Year’s Day dip in the area? Email the details to news@ahobserver.com.



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