The Ladysmith Polar Bear Dip was a non-event this year, but people still braved the icy waters of Transfer Beach in their own bubbles to take part in the annual tradition.
Katherine and Brandon Gonzales have organized the Polar Bear Dip in Ladysmith for the last several years. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, it was impossible for them to organize the regular event. Instead, they encouraged people to go on their own, and post their photos to Facebook after the fact.
“We’re part of the community, and we still wanted to keep things going on,” Brandon Gonzales said. “It’s pretty simple to use a platform like Facebook. We had used it to promote the event in past years, so it was easy to open it up to allow people to post their photos.”
Gonzales said he knows of 20 different bubbles that participated in the non-event.
The weather for this year’s Polar Bear Dip was rainy, cold, and miserable. Bad weather coupled with COVID would have made it easy for many people to skip the new year’s day dip. But for the Gonzales family, the dip isn’t about the how good or bad the weather might be, it’s about making memories together.
“It’s all about doing things with each other outdoors — sometimes a little off the beaten path,” Gonzales said.