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Polar Bear Swim rings in 2020 with centenary chilly dip in English Bay!

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Polar Bear Swim in Vancouver.



It is the 100th anniversary of the swim, which officially began in 1920 on Christmas Day when nine other swimmers accepted Pantages’ challenge and joined him in the chilly English Bay water for what to him was his daily routine come rain, hail, snow or fog.

The official record of the number of swimmers was recorded in 2014 with 2,550 registered participants. But hundreds more who don’t register also take part, some of them on the spur of the moment. Thousands more line the shore to watch, hold towels or blankets, or have a bracing flask of recovery fluid on hand for those coming out of the water.


The air temperature the past two years was 1C, so you could actually warm up by jumping into the water (6C in 2018, 7C in 2017).


It's not only one of the world's biggest Polar Bear Swims, it's also one of the oldest, and on January 1, 2020 the event marks a century of chilly New Year's Day fun in Vancouver.

The tradition finds brave souls hitting the bracing cold waters of English Bay to ring in the new year in Vancouver.


For 2020 and the centennial celebration, The Vancouver Park Board says they'll be hosting "the largest event ever."


New this year will be family and wheelchair-accessible zones, so that all ages and all bodies can take part in the merriment. 


The event will run from noon to 4 p.m. and will feature live musical entertainment, roving performers, and food trucks on site. At 2:30 p.m., swimmers will take the plunge. 

Pre-registration is encouraged, and is the only way you can get yourself a commemorative certificate proving you actually did it. Sign up online here


Vancouver hosts one of the world’s longest running and most attended Polar Bear Swims in the world according to the City of Vancouver.


When: Jan. 1, 2020 from noon-4 p.m. Swim is at 2:30 p.m.

Where: English Bay Beach, Vancouver


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