Carnival ends with splash

Shiver me timbers, it was a cold end to Vernon Winter Carnival this year.

But, that didn't stop hardy souls from making a splash at the polar bear dip on Sunday at Kal Beach.

The beach was overtaken by brave buccaneers and landlubbers for the sixth annual event. Hot food, hot drinks and a bonfire kept the mood festive and warm in what felt like -15 C with the wind.

About 30 entrants took the plunge. Earlier in the day, crews cut the ice so the event could go ahead.

Participants were of all ages. One young girl was doing the swim to celebrate her 10th birthday. 

Maria Ancona, a Grade 12 exchange student from Brazil, was excited for “this once in a lifetime chance to get the full Canadian experience.”

“It’s exhilarating!” said Bonnie Anderson, who was taking part in her second dip. Her granddaughter accompanied her into the water.

Wearing courage and swimsuits, swimmers lined up, crashing quickly into the freezing water. Just as quickly, most ran back out, screams and laughter echoing off the ice. The event was over quickly, sending the brave swimmers to quickly change and warm up by the fire.

Happily, the services of three St. John’s Ambulance first aid attendants was not required.

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