The 2023 White Rock Polar Bear Plunge will happen on Jan. 1 – for the first time in two years.
The plunge was put on ice in January of 2022 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although a plunge was held in March of 2022 to raise funds to help provide clean water to Indigenous communities in Canada.
In 2021 and January of 2022, residents were instead encouraged to take that year’s plunge at home, then share proof of their participation via photos or video for a chance at prizes.
The plunge in all its glory was last held on the beach – on Jan. 1 – in 2020, marking its 50th year.
The year before that, it was cancelled due to debris scattered along the beach after a Dec. 20, 2018 storm destroyed the city’s pier.
“Come on out! Bring your team, create some costumes,” said Melanie Smith, one of the event’s organizers.
“We’d love to have a huge crowd to cheer on as well. It’s the first one back ’ live in real life’ since COVID.”
On Jan. 1, 2023, registration starts at 10:30 a.m. for those swimmers who are brave enough to take the chilly plunge.
The actual plunge, which usually attracts hundreds of participants and spectators, happens at noon, at the white rock east of the pier, with prizes awarded for best costumes, including one for kids.