Despite warm temps, Winter Fest, Polar Plunge continue as scheduled

Despite warm temps, Winter Fest, Polar Plunge continue as scheduled

With temperatures across southern Wisconsin at or near records highs Saturday, snow was far from many people’s minds. But two winter-themed celebrations in Madison went on as scheduled, albeit with some challenges.

Nearly 1,500 people attended the Polar Plunge at Olin Park, jumping into frozen Lake Monona to raise money for Special Olympics Wisconsin.

While the total amount raised hasn’t been announced, preliminary numbers posted on the event’s website show more than $221,000 has been raised as of Saturday afternoon.

WISC-TV and News 3 are proud to sponsor the event, for which News 3 This Morning Anchor Dannika Lewis served as host.

At Elver Park on Madison’s west side, Winter Fest kicked off with several ski and foot races, snow carving and kids’ activities. Organizers had to bring in snow machines to have enough powder on the ground for the event to occur.

That didn’t stop some first-time skiiers from hitting the hills at the event, however. Some kids, though, spent the day playing on the playground instead of in the snow.

Winter Fest continues through Sunday.

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