LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The frigid temperatures were not enough to force the cancellation of the annual polar plunge in Lake George.
Hundreds of swimmers took to the frigid water to take part in the New Year’s Day tradition.
It’s something only the heartiest of souls can understand.
“I saw the ice and I was like, we’re doing this!”
The Lake George Polar Plunge.
How far are you going to go? “I’m going to go until I can swim.”
The costumes offer a bit of comfort from the cold.
But, on a day where the mercury is only hovering above zero, why do this?
“I have to do it because a lot of people think I’m nuts and I have to show them that I am.”
Then there was the countdown to the moment of truth.
Before they hit the waves, the water had to be exposed! This was how organizers spent the past couple of days preparing for the plunge by breaking up the ice.
“You’re a real polar bear if you’re doing it this year,” Linda Duffy, Polar Plunge Organizer, said.
Duffy says she’s never dealt with a frozen Lake George in all the years of the event.
“It did cross my mind [to cancel], especially when I learned other polar plunges were being canceled. But a lot of people were planning on doing it. And with the help of the police department and EMTs, I think we will be okay.”
Duffy’s Tavern, which hosts the event which is in its 18th year. For the first time ever, they are offered a heated tent for wet swimmers to recover after taking the plunge.
It was definitely warmly received!
Last year there were around 1200 participants. This year’s number was expected to be closer to 400. The proceeds go to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.