Preliminary weather reports seem promising for Dunedin's Christmas Solar Bears.
Sunshine and highs in the 70s will make for near perfect swimming conditions for the 12th annual Solar Bear Swim at Dunedin Boat Club beach.
The Dunedin Polar Bear Club — with native Floridians prefering to be called Solar Bear — gathers every year on Christmas Day for a little costumed revelry in St. Joseph Sound. Festivities continue at Flanagan's Irish Pub.
Organizer Kathy Carlson said her sister Jennifer Dickinson came up with the idea when she was visiting one year from Buffalo, NY.
She "had this brilliant idea that instead of falling asleep on the couch after presents and mass quantities of food, we could swim, be refreshed and start anew."
It was, of course, based on some much chillier Polar Bear Plunges the sisters had done in Lake Ontario.
Participants usually dress in crazy costumes. Up to 140 people have turned out in years past.
Carlson recently posted this update via Funedin Facebook page:
Funedin is now the official fan page for the Dunedin Polar Bear Club. If you have never been, on Christmas day at 4pm we dress up or down and drink Polar Bear Martini's at the Dunedin Marina Beach, then we take a swim. The after party is held at Flanagan's Irish Pub, wet clothes and all. More details to follow. This year will be our 12th one.