By Celina Morris
People were asked not to participate in the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Dip due to this year’s Covid-19 restrictions, but a few still showed up at the beach on New Year’s Day to ring in 2021 with a cold dip in the lake.
A small group of supporters – consisting of mostly family members – gathered on the beach as an even smaller number of dippers took the plunge.
Unlike other years, the polar bears ran into the water alone or in small groups staggered around the traditional 1:00 p.m. time rather than in one large group.
“I think we were the second set of people to go in,” said Meg Palermo.
The Polar Bear Dip has become a tradition for Meg and Jack Palermo. This is Meg’s second year and Jack’s fourth year at the Port Dover Dip.
“I went in and fell backwards,” recounted Daniel Amos, who say she has been a Polar Bear many times in the five years he has lived in Port Dover.
“This year felt like my first year, but it does every year.”
There was no ice in the water and no snow on the beach for this year’s Polar Bear Dip but it was still very cold just standing on the beach. Those who did go in quickly wrapped up in blankets, towels and jackets after getting out of the water.
There were some new faces at the Polar Bear Dip this year. David and Konrad (who didn’t want to give their last names) said they drove from Brantford to swim in the lake on New Year’s Day.
The two ran in the water, ran out, then back in for a second dunk. When asked why he went back in, Konrad laughed and said “my friend made me do it.”
After drying off, Konrad admitted “I have pins and needles in my legs.”
Konrad told the Maple Leaf he had done something similar in March a few years ago in Lake Superior but this was his first time in Port Dover.
Originally published on January 6, 2021