Search Result for : 2017 Polar Bear Swim

VIDEO: West Seattle Polar Bear Swim 2017 leaves hundreds soaked in New Year spirit

(Pre-swim photo by Jacob Nieman – note the crowd size!)

Thanks to everyone who shared photos and video from this morning’s 2017 West Seattle Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach!

(Photo by Robert Spears)

A good, if frosty, time was had by all, so far as we could tell – 33-degree air, 50-degree water, exactly the same as last year. Here’s our video of this morning’s countdown and run in:

(WSB video by Patrick Sand)

At the start of our clip, the countdown is being led by Mark Ufkes, who organizes this every year – he’s in the next photo with the megaphone:

(Photo by Russ Walker)

Here’s a wider view of the big splash:

(Video by Kendall Browne)

For some, the Polar Bear Swim is a spectator sport – this guy told us he was there to cheer on his 15-year-old daughter, participating for the first time:

(This photo and next 5 are by WSB’s Patrick Sand)

Some of the other sights – maybe the most-formal swimmer (or maybe just hadn’t been home since the NYE party):


Think we saw this dinosaur back on Halloween:


We noted the lampshade in a pre-swim tweet – and spotted it on the beach under someone else’s care:


Another standout hat:


Die-hard Cougar fan:


Maybe a tropical print helped make up for the almost-freezing air:

(Photo by Russ Walker)

Whatever you were or weren’t wearing, there was post-swim chowder, courtesy of nearby Duke’s:

(WSB photo)

And memories that will linger until next New Year’s Day:

(Photo by Robert Spears)

(WSB photo)

(added 7:30 pm) One more video of the big swim – this one is by Anthony Decena:

P.S. Here’s our coverage from previous years:

NEW YEAR’S DAY: West Seattle Polar Bear Swim is on for 2017!

(2016 Alki Polar Bear Swim photo by Scott Nelson)

Just got confirmation that the West Seattle Polar Bear Swim is on again for Sunday (New Year’s Day 2017). From organizer Mark Ufkes:

January 1, 2017, at 9:50 am, polar-bear swimmers will line up along the beach across from Duke’s.

With a countdown, at 10 am sharp we will hold hands with our friends and run into Puget Sound.

Bring water shoes, a towel, a change of clothes and your hopes and dreams for 2017 with you. Also bring the lessons you learned in 2016. Running into the water with friends and family will help you leave behind the complexities of 2016 and start the new year clean and burden-free. We hit the water at 10 sharp.

Thinking about trying it for the first time? Here’s our coverage from last year, including video and links to previous years’ coverage.

What you need to know for West Seattle New Year’s Day 2017

(Thanks to Deborah in Highland Park for the photo)

Happy snowy New Year’s Day! Here’s information you might find helpful:


POLAR BEAR SWIM: Gather at 9:50 am along Alki Beach across from Duke’s – everybody in the water at 10 am sharp. (Alki Avenue SW & 58th SW)

NEW YEAR’S LABYRINTH WALK: Noon-2 pm at Our Lady of Guadalupe. (35th SW/SW Myrtle)

OTHER EVENTS TODAY … including special church services … are listed in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.

FARMERS’ MARKET CLOSED: But it’s back to every-Sunday operation NEXT week, on January 8th.

SEATTLE PARKS FACILITIES: Here’s the closure list.


TRANSIT: Regular Sunday schedules unless the bus is still on a snow route because of the early-morning snowfall. For Metro, check here.

VIDEO: Hundreds launch 2016 with a splash via the West Seattle Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach

(Video/photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand, unless otherwise credited)
Clear sky, 33-degree air, 50-degree water, and hundreds of cheery participants combined for this year’s West Seattle Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach this morning. Here’s the leader of the countdown you hear in the video, organizer Mark Ufkes:

He went in wearing his “I (Heart) White Center” T-shirt. As usual, the crowd was peppered with costumes and uniforms – and it’s not a Polar Bear Swim without the softball umpires:

Another group went prehistoric:

The most popular “costume” generally involved head/face gear of some kind:

(This photo and next one by Scott Nelson)
The Olympics provided a beautiful backdrop:

To get the internal temperature back up afterward, free chowder courtesy of Duke’s (right across the street from the gathering spot for the “swim”):

Can’t guarantee the sunshine but the day and time are locked in – so mark your calendar for New Year’s Day 2017!

P.S. Our clip from the sidewalk gives you more of an idea of how many people were on the beach before, during, and after:

Past years’ WSB coverage:

(Reviewing our links, you might be surprised to see it’s been sunny on NYD more often than not!)

UPDATE: West Seattle snow to start the new year

5:10 AM: In the past few hours, we’ve seen half an inch or so of snow here in Upper Fauntleroy, east of Lincoln Park. At least, that’s how much has stuck to cars, fence tops, and planting strips. More is falling, but it’s also melting in the street – audibly, by the storm drains – and driving down toward The Junction was no problem. It’s still snowing lightly, and the National Weather Service‘s 3 am “forecast discussion” says: “The Seattle metro will continue to see a threat of snow through the morning as the back edge of a band (currently over the San Juans and Skagit) pushes south. A trace to 1/2″ of snow is possible…with up to 1″ at the high end.” South of here, the NWS says, they’ve seen more.

5:17 AM: Buses are on snow routes around King County, including here, according to Metro’s website. West Seattle is in what Metro calls the South Seattle zone, so you can use that to sort the updates on this page.

6 AM: Sounds (and looks) from comments so far that eastern/southern West Seattle is snowiest.

(Added: Photo from Mike R. in Arbor Heights)

8:41 AM: From Metro:

8:51 AM: And now the C Line is back to its regular route too.

9:46 AM: Looks like little if any snow on Alki, at least as seen by our crew in photographing Polar Bear Swimmers on the way to the 10 am event (the lampshade caught our attention):


No more snow in the forecast so far, but it’s expected to be cold for the next few days, highs in the 30s, lows in the 20s.

West Seattle Holiday Guide

November 12, 2016 12:32 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Holiday Guide

Updated for 1/1/2017: Welcome to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, continuing through New Year’s! The guide is sponsored by Wyatt’s Jewelers:


RESTAURANTS OPEN NEW YEAR’S DAY: Here’s what we have so far. If a restaurant is not listed, either it’s closed both days, or it didn’t answer our inquiries – not too late for us to add, though, – thanks!

GROCERY STORES CLOSED NEW YEAR’S DAY: The only one in West Seattle that’s closed all day is Trader Joe’s.

NEW YEAR’S DAY WALKS: Hundreds do it every year – you should too:


Let’s get out and walk on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! It’s a great way to celebrate with family and friends. And, you’ll have plenty of time afterward for that New Year’s Eve Party and those New Year’s Day games.

These free walks will be in West Seattle, with different 5 and 10K routes on the Eve and the Day. And there’ll be hot soup to chase away any chills. Walks start on New Year’s Eve anytime between 4 and 7 PM, and on New Year’s Day between 9 AM and 12 noon, at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 3050 California Ave, in West Seattle. No fee for the walks, which are noncompetitive.

The New Year’s Eve 5K route winds through the holiday lights in the Admiral neighborhood and Junction. The 10K route also enjoys neighborhood holiday lights, heads down to Alki and features the lights on and around Puget Sound, Elliott Bay and downtown Seattle. Flashlights will be helpful for both routes.

On New Year’s Day, the 5 and 10 kilometer routes take walkers through North Admiral, enjoying a number of viewpoints looking over Elliott Bay. 10K walkers also walk along the Puget Sound shoreline, through a number of parks and shoreline features.

From I-5, take exit 163 (northbound) or 163A (southbound), and cross West Seattle bridge. Exit at Admiral Way. Go up Admiral Way a little over a mile to California Ave SW, a major intersection. Turn left and go .3 mile to West Seattle High School parking lot, adjacent to St. John’s Church and the start/finish.

Hosted by Emerald City Wanderers and St John the Baptist Episcopal Church, and sanctioned by American Volkssport Association.

Info: Mike at or 206-851-2101.

NEW YEAR’S DAY – ALKI POLAR BEAR SWIM: From Mark Ufkes, who organizes it every year:

January 1, 2017, at 9:50 am, polar bear swimmers will line up along the beach across from Duke’s.

With a countdown, at 10 am sharp we will hold hands with our friends and run into Puget Sound. Bring water shoes, a towel, a change of clothes and your hopes and dreams for 2017 with you. Also bring the lessons you learned in 2016. Running into the water with friends and family will help you leave behind the complexities of 2016 and start the new year clean and burden-free. We hit the water at 10 sharp.


WHAT: Annual New Year’s Resolution Walk at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. The community is invited to set an intention or two for the new year and use the labyrinth as a tool to put their intentions into motion. Hot chocolate and cider will be served.

WHEN: New Year’s Day, noon – 2 pm

WHERE: Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Peace Garden & Labyrinth, 7000 35th Ave SW, NE corner of campus

FITNESS ON YOUR RESOLUTION LIST? Free early-morning classes January 2nd, 4th, 6th at new WSB sponsor FitBody Solutions – details here.


Here’s who we have heard from – updated to now show New Year’s services (you’re still welcome to send yours –

3940 41st SW

New Year’s Day at 10 am
New Year’s Day is also on a Sunday and we will gather at 10 am to do a version of John Wesley’s Watchnight service traditionally done New Year’s Eve. We will renew our covenant with God and with each other as we reflect on the year past and the new year to come. Join us for this time of reflection and renewal.


Join us for Advent and Christmas at

Sundays: 8:00 am Holy Eucharist, in the chapel
10:30 am Holy Eucharist, in the nave*
8:00 pm Compline, in the chapel
*Liturgy & Holy Eucharist with Choir 10:30 am

Celebrate with us the great Christmas feast of our Lord’s Nativity.
May these days fill your prayers with thanksgiving and blessing.

To end the 12 days of Christmas be sure to join us on –
Friday, January 6, 2017: The Day of Epiphany
11:45 am Holy Eucharist, in the chapel


New Year’s Day Worship: 10:30 a.m. Service with Communion (one service only)

(3050 California Ave SW, next to West Seattle High School)

New Year’s Day, The Feast of the Holy Name
Sunday, January 1, 10:15 am (Note: one service only, at 10:15 am!)

ADMIRAL UCC (4320 SW Hill)

Sun, 1/1 10:30-11:15 am New Year’s Day Combined Celebration
-Admiral hosts Alki Congregational Church for a combined worship service,with two choirs, two congregations, and one global-themed lunch afterward provided by Admiral’s hospitality team!


On New Year’s Day @ 10:30 am. According to Luke’s Gospel, January 1 is the day on which Jesus received his name and was circumcised. Following this tradition, we will celebrate January 1 as Name of Jesus Sunday. Our liturgy begins with a blessing of our house of worship for the New Year, followed by a simple service with Holy Communion and plenty of singing.


New Year’s Day – Atonement Service
Sunday, January 1, 10:30 a.m. Rev Alex Holt
This first day of 2017 will be an informal multi-generational service with no music, Religious Education or staff other than Alex. Everyone will be encouraged to use flash-paper to write down those things they wish to atone for from 2016 and then burn them as a way of letting go. There will also be pebbles from a beach in Maine for people to take home representing New Year’s resolutions. All welcome. 

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE (35th/Myrtle) – Mass times on calendar page

HOLY ROSARY (42nd/Genesee) – Mass times on home page

HOLY FAMILY (20th/Roxbury) – Mass times on home page


CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING: 9 am-1 pm Saturday, January 7th, drop off your tree at Alki Masonic Center in The Junction. Sponsored by West Seattle Assembly #18 Order of Rainbow for Girls. (4736 40th SW)


Let us know what you want to see in NEXT year’s guide, which we will launch by mid-November as usual, with daily updates throughout the season! Thank you!

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann