Charlottetown Polar Bear Swim set to go New Year's Day

Jim Day
Published on December 31, 2015

Participants bolt in and out of the water during the 2015 Charlottetown Polar Bear Swim.

The adventurous -- and perhaps somewhat foolish -- are being urged to take the plunge for the chilly annual New Year’s Day tradition in the capital city.

“Just show up and enter at your own risk,’’ says Jason Mosher, organizer of the Charlottetown Polar Bear Swim.

“We highly encourage people to come down, wear costumes, funny hats.’’

The quick dip is at the usual time and location: 10 a.m. sharp near the Charlottetown Yacht Club.

No registration is required but donations of non-perishable food and cash will be gladly accepted from participants as well as spectators for the Charlottetown Food Bank.

Last year, almost $1,700 was raised in support of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Conditions should be more bearable Thursday than they were on Jan. 1, 2015.

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures steady near -4 C with a westerly wind gusting to 40 km/hr under cloudy skies.

Last New Years Day, the water near the shore took on the form of thick slush as the windchill made the -8 C temperature feel more like -16 C.

One seasoned dipper called the conditions the worst he had ever seen in his 25 years of taking the plunge.

“It is a good time,’’ says Mosher.

“The weather conditions (forecast for Thursday) are favourable for anybody that would like to come out and try it for the first time.’’

Mosher is anticipating between 300 and 500 will hit the frigid water with a large crowd of onlookers.