Port Alberni’s First Night events on Dec. 31 include a countdown to children’s “midnight” at the Glenwood Centre. (SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO)

Port Alberni’s First Night events on Dec. 31 include a countdown to children’s “midnight” at the Glenwood Centre. (SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO)

First Night returns for New Year’s Eve in Port Alberni

No Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day

The City of Port Alberni will be bringing back its popular “First Night” activities this New Year’s Eve, but will not be hosting the annual Polar Bear Swim at Canal Waterfront Park.

First Night consists of a few free, family-friendly activities hosted at various city-owned facilities throughout New Year’s Eve. The event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the city is bringing it back for 2022.

Although the city is bringing back First Night activities on New Year’s Eve, it will not be holding its annual Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day. The event is usually put on in collaboration with 93.3 The Peak and the Port Alberni Shelter Society, but this year the city is not able to provide support for the Polar Bear Swim due to a lack of staff.

“We’re not able to support or have staff on site and organize the event leading up to the Polar Bear Swim,” explained Shawn Bourgoin, recreation manager for the City of Port Alberni. “We’ve put all our energy towards First Night activities, instead.”

The First Night activities, he added, usually have a higher turnout and are “more geared” towards children and families than the Polar Bear Swim.

First Night starts at the Alberni Valley Museum, where visitors can pick up their free First Night button and party hat from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Next, the Echo Pool will host a free public swim from 5-8 p.m. Admission is limited to 75 people.

Glenwood Centre will also host free drop-in activities from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. This will include a “countdown” to 9 p.m. (instead of midnight) with a balloon drop.

The Alberni Valley Multiplex will be hosting a free public skate from 6-9 p.m. in the Coulson Rink, and there will also be an Alberni Valley Bulldogs game in the Weyerhaeuser Arena starting at 7 p.m. as the Bulldogs host the Powell River Kings. Tickets for the game can be purchased at www.albernivalleybulldogs.ca or at the Bulldogs office at the multiplex.

Those looking for something else to do on New Year’s Eve can join the Alberni Valley Nature Club for the annual Christmas Bird Count. Counters are needed for backyard bird feeders, as well as birders out in the field. For more information on the Christmas Bird Count, contact Sandy McRuer at 250-731-7015.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Port Alberni

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.



Don't have an account? Click here to sign up