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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — A vacation custom that has been within the deep freeze for the previous two years is at risk of ending except somebody steps as much as revive it.
Cheryl Paynter not too long ago introduced on 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 Yr’s Day occasion collectively for a variety of years earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the dip in 2021 and 2022.
“I’ve heard nothing,’’ Paynter advised 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 feel 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 someone steps as much as take it to the following degree.’’
Jason Lee, who organized the occasion for 10 years earlier than Paynter took over, mentioned the custom dates again about three many years.
“It’s about discovering volunteers now,’’ Lee mentioned. “We’ve had our probability to prepare it. It was numerous 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 reputation through the years, with lots of of individuals displaying up – whatever the climate – simply to look at.
Paynter mentioned individuals who take into account themselves regulars have usually 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 Yr’s Day,’’ she mentioned. “It’s a convention to shock the system in plenty of 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.
There isn’t any formal registration to dive into the frigid Charlottetown water. Individuals 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.
Individuals collect on the seaside and look ahead to a 10-second countdown. If the water is freed from ice, individuals make a splash for the water. If the water is frozen over, volunteers reduce a gap by means of the ice and folks line up for a fast dip.
“It’s all in regards to the toes, actually,’’ Paynter mentioned when requested in regards to the largest problem for members. “You’ve received to get out and in fast. Keep in mind, while you’re on the seaside, that the bottom is usually frozen. Put on an previous pair of sneakers that the water can drain out of. And, have a heat automobile 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 isn’t any public warming space close to the positioning 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 seaside space the place earlier occasions have been held. Flats now line your entire size of Water Road between the yacht membership and Paoli’s Wharf.
“It’s within the yard of some non-public land right here, so approval from some landlords would go an extended strategy to maintaining some good relations.’’
Lee mentioned it’s not a tough occasion to prepare, however it’s time to let another person do it.
“Individuals will present up in the event you give them a location and a time,’’ he mentioned. “It’s not numerous work, however it’s good to share it with others.’’
At a look
Following is details about the P.E.I. Polar Bear Dip:
• The occasion yearly attracts as much as 100 members and as many as 300 household supporters and spectators.
• If anybody is keen on co-ordinating the 2023 occasion and has questions, Jason Lee, a former organizer, mentioned persons are welcome to contact him at [email protected].
Dave Stewart is a reporter with SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. He may be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @DveStewart