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Michigan is known for its abundance of freshwater coastlines and its winters, so combining the two has often made some sort of sense to residents over the years. One of the wildest hobbies for Michigan enthusiasts is the Polar Plunge. We just have to know: would you plunge if the reason was right? What temperature would you do it at? What temperature would you not do it at?

jumped into Lake Michigan

History of the Polar Plunge

In ‘freezin’ for a reason’, Michigan polar plungers take the frosty dip to raise money for the Special Olympics. They also do it for the sheer challenge of the act. The fun began 19 years ago and fifty people were willing to dip into the icy water in temperatures in the teens.

Ever since that wintry day, the Polar Plunge has gained increasing attention. Plunge takers have raised funds for the charity and to show the world that we can withstand any weather the lakes throw at us. This year 4,500 people did the deed and raised nearly $2 million. That goes to funding Special Olympians to reach their dreams as they press forward in life.

How cold can you go?

So, how cold can you go? The temperature at Lake Michigan for the plunge this year was just above freezing in the water. The air temperature was in the teens. Thousands of residents, celebrities, and politicians committed themselves. Apparently, there were Vikings as well as some suspiciously human-looking penguins flocking to the snow-bound shore. For them, freezing was just fine. Is this a casual or formal-wear event?

When you take the plunge will you go all out and challenge Mother Nature in your swimsuit? Or will you wear matching gear with your fellow plunge pals? How will you drum up support for the cause with your friends? Matching gear will definitely convince them.

If you’re a bystander, that doesn’t mean you can’t dress to the nines. Show your support! It might be subtle like matching hats, or you can be a little less subtle and dress up as ancient marauders of the high seas. Whether you stroll reluctantly into the water or you throw yourself into the frozen swell, you get to make a statement about your courage, physical stamina, and possibly your sanity. All while raising charitable contributions for an important cause. Who could resist?

What do you love about the lake?

Maybe you would wait until August. That won’t raise any funds for charity, but it’ll be the perfect opportunity for you to take in some lake time and enjoy the shore. Of course, there are some snow bunnies for whom August is the time to hide under a rock until the temperatures drop again.

The great thing about our lakes is that they have so many moods to accommodate so many tastes in outdoor activities. So whether you’re geared up for the snow- and that could mean flannel PJs in a warm bed- or you can’t wait to parasail over the waves, make your plans, plan for safe fun, and have a great time this year. The lake is calling. Will you answer?