Edinburgh’s Hogmanay chief have insisted the Loony Dook will go ahead despite earlier fears that a lack of sponsorship could threaten the event.
It was announced today that registration for the New Year’s Day event at South Queensferry is now open, after previous reports indicated that the event could be cancelled if a backer couldn’t be found.
The Loony Dook takes place on the first day of each new year when hundreds of people dress up in fancy dress and throw themselves into the freezing cold water of the Firth of Forth.
After the event became part of the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme organised by Unique Events, organisers introduced a “registration fee” in 2011 of £6, rising to £8 in 2014.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been raised for charities through the event over the years, and 10% from each registration fee of £9 (including £1 booking fee) will be donated to the South Queensferry branch of the RNLI.
Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for Edinburgh City Council, said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the world. For years, around 1,000 of the bravest revellers have taken part in the Loony Dook – an icy cold plunge in the Firth of Forth on January 1. This is always a sell-out event and a welcome boost to businesses in South Queensferry. The Council’s ongoing support of the event makes it a safe, fun and one-of-a-kind way to start the New Year.”
Pete Irvine, Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “The Loony Dook has become an integral part of the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival, and is a flagship event for South Queensferry which welcomes everybody into its bars, cafes and restaurants which are all open on New Year’s Day. This is a fun, photogenic and hugely popular event that generates news coverage around the world, reinforcing Edinburgh and Scotland as the Home of Hogmanay on the international stage.”
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to able to support the Loony Dook on New Year’s Day. The Loony Dook has been a firm favourite in the New Year calendar for many years and is part of a range of events and activities happening right across Scotland to celebrate the Winter Festivals.
“The Scottish Government has provided a funding contribution of over £100,000 to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay from Scotland’s Winter Festivals for a variety of seasonal celebrations.”