Ocean Swimmers Flock to Venice Beach on New Year's Day


Most people ring in the New Year with champagne and a late night. But a group of dedicated “Penguins” choose to commemorate it with a cold dip in the ocean.

 

Cecelia Kilger, a Los Angeles transplant, began the tradition in 1952.  As a child, she swam in the frigid waters of Lake Michigan.  After getting caught in the surf off Playa del Rey, she got a tip to try the Venice Beach backwater area.

 

There, she found other swimmers, and they met up throughout the year.  One lifeguard suggested they start an informal club, and in 1960, the group became official.  Since then, the “Penguin Club” has kicked off the year with an ocean swim.  It is dedicated to Cecelia, who died at the age of 94 in 2002.

 

Southern California Aquatics (SCAQ), a Masters swim club, now runs the event. Participants can choose between courses: one for people who swim for fun, and another for those who want to compete.  Everyone will receive a certificate, but the fastest male and female swimmer in the competition course are crowned prince and princess. 

 

Longtime event organizer Mary McGurk selects the king and queen from the amateur course. The swim is dedicated to her as well.

 

This event has no entry charge, and snacks and hot drinks are provided courtesy of the Sidewalk Café.  Commemorative T-shirts are available for $10.  Sign up at Venice Beach at 11:00 am.  The Penguin Swim begins at noon.

 

We at SCAQ invite you to tune up for this event at a free Swim 101 workout, where a professional coach will look at your stroke and teach you how to train in your pool. For advanced swimmers there are intermediate and advanced options.  Find a practice near you on our website: http://www.swim.net/scaq.cfm.  RSVP at SCAQ@SWIM.net.  See you underwater!

 


Views: 239

Comment

You need to be a member of Culver City Times to add comments!

Join Culver City Times

The Culver City Times is the news and social network for Culver City.  Stay informed.  Join now!

      • Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.

• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Got video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of your business or the school play? Upload them.

For daily updates

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Latest Activity

Bianca Salter is now a member of Culver City Times
11 hours ago
West Basin MWD posted events
Wednesday
Lucy Pollak posted an event
Thumbnail

"Found" from IAMA Theatre Company at Los Angeles Theatre Center

February 14, 2020 at 8pm to March 23, 2020 at 10pm
Monday
Donald Shapiro posted a photo
Jan 18
B. Henson posted events
Jan 16
Lucy Pollak posted an event
Thumbnail

Human Interest Story at The Fountain Theatre at The Fountain Theatre

February 12, 2020 at 8pm to April 5, 2020 at 10pm
Jan 15
Dr Suzanne De Benedittis posted an event
Thumbnail

FRUIT TREE PRUNING DEMONSTRATION at Culver City

January 19, 2020 from 2pm to 4pm
Jan 10
Donald Shapiro posted a photo
Jan 8

Play "Where Am I in Culver City?"

Not a member? Sign up here to leave your answer.

Good luck!

To see the answer, click here.

© 2020   Created by Culver City Times.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service