It’s a mad dash out of the freezing water after a quick dip during the 2020 Polar Bear Splash in Parksville on New Year’s day. (Michael Briones photo)

Parksville Polar Bear Splash draws record number of participants

Mild weather conditions a boon for swimmers, splashers

The first day of the New Year in Parksville was blessed with sunny and mild cool weather.

It was the ideal setting for the 2020 Polar Bear Splash that was held at the Parksville Community Beach Park at noon, Jan. 1. It attracted close to 300 brave souls who made a mad dash to the cold, frigid water with abandon.

Smiles abound throughout the park. Some did it for fun while for others, it was a challenge.


“This is our third time and we do it because it’s fun,” said Caelynn Corcione, who did the swim with friend Piper Galloway.

Frank Williams, who was in his kilt, said he’s been participating in the swim regularly since 1985.

“I do it because it’s just a lot of fun running into the water,” said Williams, who came out with his family. “It’s not that cold really. It’s what, 7 to 8 C out there. It’s not that cold. This is not Ontario. It’s not horrible.”

It was the 29th splash organized by the Regional District of Nanaimo Recreation Department. Staff said this year’s number of participants was the largest they’ve ever recorded.

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Lyle Lamont, Andy Manson and Willy Manson brought some colour to the 2020 Polar Bear Swim in Parksville on New Year’s day with their bright outfits. (MIchael Briones photo)

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