SYRACUSE — On Saturday afternoon, Feb. 13, Polar Plunge was not an exaggeration at all. The actual temperature was 14 degrees and with the wind chill factored in, it felt more like about -2.
Several gathered to watch the Polar Plunge at Lakeside Park Beach in Syracuse, part of the 2016 Winter Carnival for Syracuse. About a dozen or so took the frigid plunge, including a few from the Syracuse Fire Department. Proceeds benefit the Boomerang Backpacks program for Wawasee schools.
A good crowd also gathered uptown in Syracuse for the Iditarod dogsled demonstration, live ice sculpting demonstrations by Ohio-based Ice Creations, the chili fundraiser for Syracuse Cub Scout Pack 3828 and the biscuit and gravy cookoff at Grace Lutheran Church.
There was also ice skating at the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex and the beard contest was scheduled for 6 p.m. at Huntington Bar and Grill. The winter fun run was held Saturday morning, also at the athletic complex.
Earlier in the week, the snowmobile racing on Syracuse Lake was canceled due to the lack of ice on the lake and the ice boating and hot air balloon rides at the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation facility off SR 13 were also canceled. Heather Harwood, executive director of the WACF, reported a few hikers did show up Saturday and also WNIT-TV did some filming for a video by the lake. She added the sleigh rides were canceled too.