Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival Goes Virtual

Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival Goes Virtual

Courtesy of Phil White, Lake Memphremagog, Vermont.

For six straight years, Phil White has hosted the Mempremagog Winter Swim Festival in Lake Memphremagog, Vermont.

This year will be different. He explains, “The Seventh Annual Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival will be going virtual this year, During the last week of February, winter swimmers from Alaska to Ireland will be gathering close to home and joining in the Festival. 120 winter swimmers will be representing 25 states, three Canadian provinces, DC and Ireland. Since our first winter swim festival in 2015, clans of cold water swimmers have been growing around the USA.

21 rascally Alaskans will be joining us along with 16 Penn Herons of Pennsylvania, 14 members of the Dabulamanzi Tribe in Maryland, 5 cold-water KOWS in Tennessee, 3 Arizonians, 13 from Massachusetts, 10 Yorkers, and 6 Virginians.

Many of these cold water swimmers have been swimming in socially distanced pods regularly through the fall and winter as the sport of winter swimming has spread across the country and blossomed.

As in previous years, we will be holding a Hat Competition judged by a five-member panel. The winner will receive a pound of Brault’s Beef Jerky and a Cocktail Mixing Set provided by Barr Hill at Caledonian Spirits. Runners-up will receive bottles of Barr Hill Hand Sanitizer.

Each location will also be holding a Ribbon Ceremony to honor and remember family and friends who have battled cancer or some other life threatening disease. This year we have raised over US$2,000 for the Halo Foundation, which provides financial support to those in our community who are battling cancer and their families.

At the close of February 27th, we will host a Barr Hill Vodka Shooter and Jammie Party via Zoom and announce the winners of the Hat Contest.
We will dearly miss the congregation of winter swimmers at the EastSide Restaurant in downtown Newport this year. But we are thrilled to see the many clans of winter swimmers growing strong and swimming regularly throughout the Fall and Winter all over North America.

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Steven Munatones