THOUSANDS of people are expected to line the sands and take the plunge into the sea at Cefn Sidan Beach on Boxing Day.

The annual Pembrey Country Park Walrus Dip draws crowds in fancy dress from across Carmarthenshire and all in aid of charity.

Now in its 32nd year, previous events have seen Santas and Sumo wrestlers and all kinds of fancy dressers including Pantomime dames and even bikini beauties and brave mankini clad hulks making a dash for the freezing waves.

People have also been spotted entering the water in top hat and tails and even taking an ironing board into the water in a pop group Queen spoof.

Those braving the challenge are being asked to arrive by 10.30am to avoid congestion at the park entrance, and to be at the start line by 10.45am for an 11am dash. Admission is free.

Carmarthenshire Council’s Chairman Irfon Jones will be signalling the countdown to the dash.

The RNLI will be on hand again this year alongside St John’s Ambulance.

Mr Jones will also be handing out certificates to the chilly participants at the Ranger Station close to the main entrance to the beach.

The councils’ executive board member for leisure, Cllr Peter Hughes-Griffiths said: “Whatever the weather this event always brings a fantastic atmosphere and I have had first-hand experience by taking part in it a couple of years ago. The beach comes alive with Santas and sumo wrestlers, pantomime dames and superheroes taking the plunge for a good cause and it has become a tradition for many people.”

Since its inception in 1984, only two dips have been cancelled. One due to an oil spill, and another when the sea froze over. Organisers are hoping for good conditions this year. The event is supported by the RNLI and Coastguard who will be in attendance.

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