OAKVILLE, ON, Dec. 21, 2015 /CNW/ - An annual tradition that beckons to the most adventurous, and perhaps the most wild and wacky, is on track to be the biggest Courage Polar Bear Dip in its 31-year history. Dippers are gearing up to start 2016 in a big way, by going for a swim in frigid Lake Ontario on New Year's Day. While the temperature is milder than the last 2 years (-6 C in 2015 and -18 C in 2014), the water still promises to be in the low single digits.
With the festivities kicking off at 12:30 p.m. on January 1, highlights include the incredible live music from Whaling and the renowned costume contest. More than 700 dippers are set to take the plunge at 2 p.m. with a crowd of thousands cheering from ashore.
The event happens at Coronation Park in Oakville with participants coming to dunk in the lake in support of World Vision's clean water programs. Thanks to the Courage Polar Bear Dip, there are 37,000 new people that have access to clean water in Africa. As the largest charity Polar Bear Dip in Canada, this year's event is expected to bring the total raised over the past 31 years to $1.4 million.
"The Polar Bear Dip is a rite of passage for every Canadian. I simply can't wait to immerse myself in frigid water to help kids around the world. Don't think about it - just do it. You'll be a champion for children, you'll be a superstar to your friends and family. Remember they'll be laughing with you - not at you."
-Brett Tarver, First-time Dipper
"Growing up with the Dip, I'm excited every year to see the next generation of Dippers take the plunge. Nothing brings a family together like jumping in Lake Ontario in January to help kids and their families around the world."
-Jenna Courage, daughter of Founder Todd Courage
- The Courage Polar Bear Dip is the largest charity polar bear dip in Canada
- A New Year's Day tradition, the Courage Polar Bear Dip has raised $1,331,000 for World Vision water projects since 1995
- Last year 734 Dippers participated and raised $130,000 for projects in Rwanda
What Canadians can do:
Do the Dip, and/or support someone you know who is.
SOURCE The Courage Polar Bear Dip
Image with caption: "Polar Bear Dippers ring in a refreshing New Year. (CNW Group/The Courage Polar Bear Dip)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151221_C7249_PHOTO_EN_588002.jpg