Brave souls take the plunge in Loony Dook

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The 2016 great South Queensferry Looney Dook made a big splash – but this time 1000 brave souls are expected to take the big plunge.

Sponsored by Stoats Porridge, the event on Sunday (January 1)should raise tens of thousands of pounds for charity through sponsored fundraising, and is a complete sell-out.

Hundreds have leapt at the chance of immersing themselves in the freezing waters of the Forth on the first day of the new year. The event has been a South Queensferry fixture for three decades, and of course there are similar dooks in locations including Kinghorn in Fife.

But Stoats Porridge, who sponsored it for the first time in 2016, said the sheer enthusiasm of local people for the dook and the stunning setting beside the Forth bridges puts it in a class of its own. Stoats will also be running a competition for best dressed dooker on the day.

Judging from the response this time around the event is seen by many as a can’t miss annual spectacular, and for those not too bleary-eyed from Hogmanay it’s an eye-popping lunchtime outing to watch on an otherwise dreich day.

The fun starts at 1pm with a Dookers Parade along the High Street, followed by a free bowl of Stoats in preparation for the ultimate new year shock to the system.

Stoats managing director Tony Stone said: “We’re really proud to be supporting such a fun and long established tradition for the second year running,

“With a fantastic atmosphere and a truly iconic Scottish location it is a brilliant way to begin the year.

“Wintry temperatures are forecast, so we’ll be working hard to fuel the dookers ahead of their icy dip.

“We’ll be supporting the celebrations with our Stoats Porridge Bar, serving up well-deserved warming bowls of oaty goodness with a range of toppings. Last year the clear winner was our Hot Toddy Porridge, topped with honey and whisky.”

Stoats will be giving away free swim caps, armbands and a whistle that dookers can use “to add to the carnival atmosphere” during the parade that leads to the dook.

Meanwhile spectators, whether local or visiting, are advised that most or all of South Queensferry’s superb array of pubs and cafes will be open on January 1, so there won’t be any shortage of warm and welcoming places to relax in later.

The town’s own microbrewery, the Ferry Brewery, has also created a special Looney Brew for the occasion.

For further information on the Stoats Loony Dook visit www.eatstoats.com.