We Rochesterians are a hardy folk, not about to let a little Polar Vortex trap us indoors all winter (right?). This weekend, get your fill of snow-season festivities at the 30th Annual Lakeside Winter Celebration, held at the Port of Rochester and Lake Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte. This year's event has been expanded to two days of fun and will feature activities Saturday, February 8, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, February 9, at noon.
Saturday will feature a dogsled demonstration, snowshoeing lessons, free horse-drawn sleigh or wagon rides, and games for children, all taking place amid live music by George Hogan and his band. The Rec on the Move mobile recreation center will offer Nerf snow bowling, hockey shooting, and more. Compete in the snow-sculpture contest for cash prizes in three categories. The theme this year is "Famous Buildings."
If you're not feeling the icy temps, head inside the heated Port of Rochester Terminal building to sample New York State wines at the Lake Ontario Wine Festival (for a fee). Wine will also be available by the bottle for purchase, area microbreweries will be present, and local farmers will offer maple syrup, cider, jams, and winter produce for sale. Professional and amateur chefs will compete for the title of "Best Chili in Rochester" at the 20th Annual Chilly Chili Challenge.
At noon on Sunday, the mightiest of the brave will participate in the 14th Annual Polar Plunge, willingly diving into the icy waters of Lake Ontario to raise funds for Special Olympics New York. Register by calling 586-7400 x105. Meet at the Terminal entrance at 1 p.m. for a port area and Turning Point Park hike. This year, Charlotte area merchants are offering a special discount coupon (available at portofcharlotteny.com) to customers all weekend. For more details visit cityofrochester.gov/wintercelebration, call 311, or call the Bureau of Recreation at 428-6755.