On New Year’s Eve, many families were delighted to be able to shelter from a downpour of rain and have a fun evening with the kids at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena.
With food, ice skating, and crafts, a big crowd was kept well entertained until 6:45 when it was time for the annual balloon drop. The kids raucously counted down from 10, and then, hands up, they captured the balloons as they fell from the big net overhead.
A polar bear swim at Lakeview Park had been arranged for New Year’s Day but with the night so wet, organizers wondered if enthusiasm would be dampened.
They need not have worried. The day dawned, clear and reasonably warm, and a crowd of brave souls and their warmly jacketed supporters trooped happily down to the lake for a dip.
By the time noon arrived, organizer Bear Hamilton had 15-20 swimmers lined up raring to go. They even included some visitors from California.
After a countdown, in they ran, splashing, gasping, and laughing.
Hamilton, who brought his truck down onto the beach so he could serve hot chocolate, coffee, cookies, and doughnuts to the happy crowd, said he was delighted with the turnout, and plans to start organizing earlier next year so the event can grow.