Winterfest: Rochester’s wintertime recreation

CHARLOTTE, N.Y. (WHEC) — The temperatures may be in the teens, but Rochester’s Lakeside Winter Celebration is now unfrozen after being stuck on ice all too long by COVID.

The festival is held on Ontario Beach. Like many other events, it was put on hold for a year or two because of COVID.

It may have been too chilly for some people, but not for Jeff Bleier, who carves ice sculptures for the event every year.

"We’ve all been cooped up long enough, and to see a good representation out here is great,” Bleier said.

Some told News10NBC they were ready to take on the brisk air because they get to experience some of their favorite seasonal activities.

"Really excited to see the ice sculptures and then the chili contest was a fun add on. The music was great, too – love the music,” said Rob and Dawn Turbett.

For all the thrill-seekers, the annual polar bear plunge will be part of the event, too. Rob and Dawn Turbett toldNews10NBC they’ll skip that one.

"It’s a little too cold to go in the water, it was fun to walk on the ice though, the way that the lake built up the ice and fun to see people sliding around having fun on it.”

As for Bleier, he says he’s happy place is when he’s carving ice. He hopes this event can bring others happiness during these uncertain times, too.

"A year and a half I didn’t carve ice, but now it’s starting to come back and people are doing more events,” Bleier said.

The festival will continue into Sunday. People making the plunge into the lake will happen at noon.