The temperature is freezing and the wind is howling. So what do crazy New Yorkers do? Why, they go for a dip in Lake Ontario of course...
Each year, in the dead of winter, Rochester is host to the Polar Bear Plunge, a fund-raising event for Special Olympics that has otherwise sane people plunging into the icy waters of Lake Ontario. This year, over a thousand people took part. I must say, I was tempted to join them, but I was already shivering in my boots, just standing there fully clothed taking pictures. I hope to be more courageous next year!
Clearing off the icy sludge of Lake Ontario before the plunge
The plungers were led by a bagpipe band.
There were several sightings of Elvis, Blue Men carrying toilet plungers (get it?), and other assorted characters
Hat? check. Mittens? check. Scarf? check. Bikini? check
The icecube tray man (above left) gets my creativity award
My favorites were these two prom queens (bridesmaids?), in full regalia. [Update from the subjects in this photo: that was a recently-married bride with her maid of honor!] And here I thought it was only at Marina Beach in Chennai, that women ventured into the water fully clothed!
The prom queens take the plunge, under the watchful eye of members of the coast guard,
who along with scuba divers and paramedics were on hand in case of any mishaps.