This month the Lake George Winter Carnival is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a round of Polar Plunges, Ice Diving Demos, Motorcycle Ice Races, Dog Sled Races, Polar Golf and more. On opening weekend, photographer Josh Beeles got some wonderful shots of the Outhouse Races and Polar Plunge. The event first caught our eye because of a Coney Island connection. According to the carnival’s website, the Lake George Winter Carnival’s Polar Plunge was started more than 35 years ago by Coney Island Polar Club President Al Mottola…
History of the Polar Plunge – The Lake George Winter Carnival Polar Plunge has evolved over the years. The Coney Island Polar Bears started this tradition in 1903. Al Mottola, president of the Coney Island Polar Bears, first appeared at the Lake George Winter Carnival in 1973, taking their first plunge into the icy waters of Lake George. Spectators and participants were entertained for years by the group and many visitors and locals joined in on the fun of swimming in the ice cold water. They entertained many fans for years at the Lake George Winter Carnival, including Charlie “Papa Bear” Albert, who founded the Lake George Polar Bear Club and the 1st Day Polar Plunge that draws 800 plus people January 1st every year. The Polar swim is sponsored by the Lake George Winter Carnival every January 1st, and Saturday and Sundays during the month of February we invite anyone to participate, if you dare. Over 1000 participants for 2010.
This weekend’s featured event at the winter carnival is the NY State AMA Sanctioned Motorcycle & ATV Ice Race Championship. You can watch a live webcast courtesy of the Electric City Motorcycle Riders Club.
The Polar Plunge as well as Snowmobile Water Skips, Dog Sled Rides and Skydiving are set for every weekend in February.Click here for a schedule of events.
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January 8, 2010: By the Numbers: Coney Island New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim 2010