Now that the polar vortex has come and gone, we can safely enjoy the 35th annual Lakeside Winter Celebration this weekend on the shores of Lake Ontario. A variety of events and activities are planned for each day of the family-friendly festival. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 9, enjoy a beverage while you shop goods from a variety of vendors at the Sip and Shop in the Jetty at the Port. Activities for the whole family will be offered from 1 to 6 p.m. in the Port of Rochester Terminal Building, including tractor-drawn carriage rides, dog sled demonstrations, outdoor children's games and inflatables from Rec on the Move, ice sculpture demos, a famous buildings-themed snow sculpture contest, entertainment by the Neil Van Dorn Band (noon to 5:30 p.m.), the Lake Ontario Wine and Craft Beer Festival (noon to 5 p.m.), and the Chilly Chili Challenge (noon to 4 p.m.). Learn the history of Ontario Beach Park on a winter hike that departs from the terminal building at 1 p.m. And stick around for a fireworks display at 5:45 p.m.
At noon on Sunday, February 10, the annual Polar Plunge will take place, seeing an expected 1,000 participants dive into the icy lake to benefit the Special Olympics. A Pre-Plunge Party will take place the previouthes day on Saturday, in the third-floor glass atrium of the Boater Services building, featuring drinks, appetizers, and more. For more information and to register, visit polarplunge.net (on-site registration takes place Sunday morning from 9 to 11:30 a.m.). Free off-site parking and shuttle service is available for all plungers and spectators at the Greece Arcadia High School parking lot, 120 Island Cottage Road, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Lakeside Winter Celebration takes place Saturday and Sunday, February 9 and 10, at and around Ontario Beach Park. Free admission. cityofrochester.gov/wintercelebration.