Festivities abounded in Birch Bay to welcome the new year.
The night sky was lit up by flares, fireworks and Chinese lanterns as people took time to reflect on the passing year on New Year’s Eve, and on New Year’s Day, hundreds gathered from across the northwest to celebrate life and the new year with an icy plunge into Birch Bay.
Young and old alike shrieked with delight and discomfort as they plunged into the water, clad in costumes and holding hands.
Even more waited onshore to cheer and laugh, holding towels and cocoa for the brave who dared the waters.
Later in the afternoon, folks gathered for the first international broom hockey tournament at Birch Bay Waterslides, taking time to get in a little healthy U.S./Canad competition to kick off 2013.
All in all, it was a good end to 2012 and a welcome beginning for 2013.