Like frozen pizzas, frozen rivers often hold treasures beneath a layer of ice and deflect the harpoons of even the hungriest fishermen. Break the ice with today’s Groupon to the Sears Great Canadian Chill on Sunday, January 1, in Britannia Bay. Choose between the following options:
- For $12, you get one event admission (a $25 value).
- For $45, you get four event admissions (a $100 value).<p>
Sign-in starts at 11 a.m., and the plunge takes place at noon.
The Sears Great Canadian Chill draws thrill seekers to participate in a large-scale traditional polar-bear plunge into Britannia Bay’s waters, with proceeds going to the Sears Charitable Foundation to put an end to children’s cancer. Participants, referred to as “chillers,” muster individual or team efforts for an 11:45 a.m. official welcome and costume contest, which has seen runners arrive dressed as Santa Claus, glam-rock musicians, and ice cubes to confuse chilling undercurrents. After formal winners earn their prizes, the masquerading conquerors lead the pack “down to a hole about three metres wide cut into the thick ice of the Ottawa River,” according to the Ottawa Citizen. After total submersion, participants scramble up out of the icy depths on provided ladders and rush to heated tents without stopping to complete the dense paperwork required in most rites of passage. Chillers thaw with cups of complimentary hot chocolate and snacks from local restaurants.
While weather protection is provided, participants should arrive with their own bathing suit, warm clothing, towel, and sturdy footwear to grant extra power in kicking over beachside snow castles. The event, which the Ottawa Citizen says holds “Canadian significance,” harnesses all proceeds to fund children’s cancer research and treatment at 17 provincial and national oncology facilities, such as Opération Enfant Soleil.