It was around 10 degrees at the Milwaukee lakefront this morning Jan. 1, but that didn't stop anyone from participating in the Polar Bear Plunge. Hundreds of people jumped into Lake Michigan in the annual ritual, some walking in and out of the water quickly, and others diving in head first. Some participants seemed to wander around in the water without a care in the world, and others screamed and yelled the entire time. It was completely entertaining to watch, and has over the past few years become an event that photographers flock to, each trying to capture that one moment of expression that defines the entire experience.
It's much like performance art for many participants who even show up in costume. With the dozens and dozens of photographers that show up it's no doubt many participants are hoping that their costumes, their antics, and their performance are captured for the world to see. The unofficial plunge took place at noon, and lasted for about a half hour or so until everyone who desired to take the plunge got a chance to welcome in the new year in the coldest way possible.