January 1, 2019 5:55 pm
Updated: January 2, 2019 1:30 am

Thousands attend 99th annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim in English Bay

WATCH: Thousands of people continued their New Year's celebrations today by taking the plunge in Vancouver's 99th annual Polar Bear swim in English Bay.

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One of Vancouver’s oldest and most venerable traditions took place New Year’s Day on the shores of English Bay.

The 99th edition of the Polar Bear Swim attracted thousands of brave people ready to usher in the new year with a chilly dip.

WATCH: Crazy people go for “hat trick” of polar bear swims

Several similar events took place across the province.

WATCH: A look back at B.C. Polar Bear Swims through the years

This year’s White Rock Polar Bear Swim was cancelled due to the damage along the beach from the recent windstorm. Organizers of the White Rock swim plan to return next year for the event’s 50th anniversary.

Vancouver’s Polar Bear Swim is one of the oldest in the world. The inaugural swim took place in 1920, when nine swimmers joined founder Peter Pantages for a dip in English Bay.

READ MORE: White Rock Polar Bear Swim cancelled due to storm damage

Last year, a cold snap across much of the country led to the cancellation of Polar Bear Swims across Canada, but the relatively mild weather in Vancouver drew more than 1,700 swimmers to English Bay for a quick dip in 6 C waters.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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