Dippers in the 2016 Polar Bear Swim in White Rock. The 2017 event is set for noon near the white rock.

Dippers in the 2016 Polar Bear Swim in White Rock. The 2017 event is set for noon near the white rock.

Plunge into 2017 on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

White Rock's 47th Polar Bear Plunge takes place at noon Jan. 1.

Local residents looking to take a headfirst dive into 2017 will again get the opportunity on Jan. 1 at the 47th annual Polar Bear Plunge.

The New Year’s Day event – co-hosted again this year by local Rotary clubs – is to begin at noon at White Rock Beach, near the white rock, and wraps up at 1 p.m.

And though the idea of plunging into the chilly waters of Semiahmoo Bay may not appeal to everyone, the event is always a popular one among New Year’s revellers – last year’s event drew about 2,500 people, organizers told Peace Arch News.

Many participants also chose to dress up for the occasion, wearing costumes that ranged from Viking helmets, tutus, tiaras, a Yeti, and even a polar bear.

Coffee, hot chocolate and hot dogs are also available for sale, to help swimmers warm up after drying off.

• Elsewhere on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, a cheekier celebration is planned, as the Skinnydipper Recreation Club, in conjunction with the Mad Hatters Swim Club and Surrey’s United Naturists will host the 11th annual Polar Bare Plunge – a clothing-optional event at Crescent Rock Beach.

The charity swim – donations from the free event will support the War Amps Playsafe and CHAMPS programs – begins at 1 p.m. in front of the Crescent Rock boulder (south of 101 Steps).

Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.

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