It’s on almost everyone’s bucket list… It’s the Polar Bear Swim! The invigorating, annual tradition that takes place every New Year’s Day (January 1) when thousands of
crazy brave people take the plunge into English Bay.
Why? You may ask. Well, why not? (okay, there are many reasons why not, but lets not go into that right now…) This Vancouver tradition is fun to participate in and fun to watch! Last year, over 2,000 revelers got together at English Bay in 3 degree Celsius weather to plunge into the water, this year it’s happening again!
As one of the world’s largest and oldest Polar Bear Clubs, the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club started in 1920 when 10 hardy swimmers took the plunge into English Bay on New Year’s Day. The event has since grown to a new record of 2,550 official entries in 2014.
The event takes place on January 1, 2017 at 2:30 pm and can be a great hangover cure from the previous night’s festivities!
2017 Polar Bear Swim Tips
- If you have a heart problem – just watch!
- Children must swim and stay with an adult.
- Please leave your dog at home.
- Do not drink – alcohol does not warm you up – it accelerates hypothermia.
- Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
- Do not remove your clothing until swim time. The swim will be started by a flag and siren.
- Entrants in the 100 yard race – meet in the front line on the north side (Stanley Park side) of the enclosure.
- First 3 swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat – give your names to the lifeguard.
- After you swim, pick up your commemorative button at the large polar bear or at the registration table.
- Warm up with coffee or hot chocolate.
Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2017 Quick Details
Where: English Bay Bathhouse – 1700 Beach Avenue, Vancouver
When: Sunday, January 1, 2017. From 2:30 t0 3:30 pm.
Cost: Free. Participants must register online. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank will also be accepting donations of non-perishable food or cash.
More info: Vancouver.ca