News Release - Lakeside Winterfest and Polar Plunge Return to Ontario Beach Park This Weekend

(Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022) - The 36th Lakeside Winterfest Celebration and Polar Plunge return to Ontario Beach Park this Saturday, Feb. 5 and Sunday, Feb. 6. The weekend of winter fun kicks off at noon on Saturday with an array of family friendly events, with most activities taking place inside or adjacent to the Roger Robach Community Center. Additionally, Charlotte area merchants will be offering specials and discounts all weekend.

Saturday’s activities will take place from noon - 4 p.m. Outdoor activities include expert ice carvers creating unique, frozen art; horse-drawn carriage rides; and sled dog and snowshoeing demonstrations. Warm up inside and take part in the perennial favorite Chilly Chili Challenge, where festival-goers can vote for Rochester’s best chili, and enjoy the 12th Lake Ontario Wine and Craft Beer Festival. The Neil Van Dorn Band will rock the tent from 1 - 3:30 p.m.

A “Rochester landmarks” themed snow sculpture contest will also take place with cash prizes in three categories: Youth under 12, Adults, and Groups. The winner from each category will receive $100 and second place recipients will win a $25 gift card to Wegmans. Registration for the snow sculpture contest will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

The 2022 Rochester Polar Plunge takes place Sunday, Feb. 6, when more than 1,000 winter enthusiasts are expected to run into the icy waters of Lake Ontario to benefit the Special Olympics of New York. Plunge registration begins at 9 a.m.; a costume contest, with a DJ, entertainment, and refreshments starts at 10 a.m.; opening ceremonies begin at 11:40 a.m., culminating in the famous march to the water, led by the Gates Keystone Club Police Pipes & Drums as they escort plungers, Special Olympics athletes, and torch runner carrying the Special Olympics Flame of Hope. The plunge will take place at noon. For more information and to pre-register, visit

To register to enter the Chilly Chili Challenge competition, complete the form at:

The Lakeside Winterfest Celebration is organized by the all-volunteer Ontario Beach Park Program Committee (OBPPC) and sponsored by the City of Rochester, Monroe County, Charlotte Community Association, Wegmans, and Special Olympics New York. For more information, call the OBPPC at 865-3320, go to or




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