CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — A vacation custom that has been within the deep freeze for the previous two years is in peril of ending until somebody steps as much as revive it.
Cheryl Paynter lately introduced on the P.E.I. Polar Bear Dip’s Facebook page that she is stepping away because the co-ordinator of the Charlottetown occasion.
Paynter helped pull the annual New 12 months’s Day occasion collectively for numerous years earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the dip in 2021 and 2022.
“I’ve heard nothing,” Paynter informed SaltWire Community on Dec. 15, in reference to curiosity in co-ordinating the dip for Jan. 1, 2023.
“It might be unhappy to see it finish. I believe persons are going to proceed their (personal) traditions, (however) it might be nice to form of have a bigger group to try this with. I hope any individual steps as much as take it to the subsequent stage.”
Jason Lee, who organized the occasion for 10 years earlier than Paynter took over, mentioned the custom dates again about three a long time.
“It’s about discovering volunteers now,” Lee mentioned. “We’ve had our probability to arrange it. It was a variety of enjoyable in what’s a really unstructured occasion, however it’s time for a brand new polar bear.”
Paynter, who has additionally participated many occasions, mentioned the dip has grown in recognition through the years, with a whole lot of individuals displaying up – whatever the climate – simply to look at.
Paynter mentioned individuals who contemplate themselves regulars have typically referred to as the dip a kind of cleaning ceremony.
“It’s about beginning new once more and difficult your self, getting uncomfortable on New 12 months’s Day,” she mentioned. “It’s a practice to shock the system in numerous alternative ways.”
It’s additionally a fundraiser for the Higher Room Hospitality Ministry’s Meals Financial institution.
The occasion has historically taken place off the shore between the Charlottetown Yacht Membership and the Paoli’s Wharf condominiums.
At a look
Following is details about the P.E.I. Polar Bear Dip:
- The occasion yearly attracts as much as 100 individuals and as many as 300 household supporters and spectators.
- If anybody is inquisitive about co-ordinating the 2023 occasion and has questions, Jason Lee, a former organizer, mentioned persons are welcome to contact him at [email protected].
There is no such thing as a formal registration to dive into the frigid Charlottetown water. Folks have been requested to convey non-perishable meals gadgets or a money donation.
Paynter mentioned on the final dip in 2020, she transported two plastic totes of canned meals and about $200 to the Meals Financial institution.
Contributors collect on the seashore and look forward to a 10-second countdown. If the water is freed from ice, folks make a splash for the water. If the water is frozen over, volunteers lower a gap by the ice and folks line up for a fast dip.
“It’s all concerning the toes, actually,” Paynter mentioned when requested concerning the largest problem for individuals. “You’ve bought to get out and in fast. Keep in mind, if you’re on the seashore, that the bottom is typically frozen. Put on an previous pair of sneakers that the water can drain out of. And, have a heat automotive close by. It’s referred to as a dip. You get in, you get moist and also you get out and get some place heat.”
There is no such thing as a public warming space close to the location the place the dip has been held in years previous.
Paynter and Lee mentioned a brand new problem for whoever decides to take this on is gaining access to the seashore space the place earlier occasions have been held. Flats now line the complete size of Water Road between the yacht membership and Paoli’s Wharf.
“It’s within the yard of some personal land right here, so approval from some landlords would go a protracted approach to retaining some good relations.”
Lee mentioned it’s not a tough occasion to arrange, however it’s time to let another person do it.
“Folks will present up when you give them a location and a time,” he mentioned. “It’s not a variety of work, however it’s good to share it with others.”
Dave Stewart is a reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. He could be reached by electronic mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @DveStewart.