Frozen Lake Monroe means a breakthrough year for 2023 Bloomington Polar Bear Plunge

Even though daytime high temperatures have reached the 50s for the last four days, on New Year’s Day, a 3-inch layer of ice crusted over much of the water at Lake Monroe’s Paynetown Recreation Area beach.

Still, around 10 o’clock Sunday morning, The B Square counted at least 40 people who managed to make their way into the frigid shallows near the shore.

Those hardy souls will be credited with participation in this year’s edition of the Bloomington Polar Bear Plunge.

Helping to make the plunge possible this year was the father-son team of Eric and Nathan Scott, who used a maul to bust up the ice near the shore and move the chunks out of the way.

Their efforts made enough open water for anybody who wanted to wade in just knee-deep, as well as die-hards who wanted to achieve total submersion in the icy bath.

Organizing the event this year, as they have for several years were Jeanice Chastain and Troy Chastain. It’s Troy, who has donned the polar bear costume during that time.

The ice was the result of a winter storm that moved through the area on Dec. 23, dropping the temperature to –9 F. For the next five days, the high temperature never got above freezing.

Photos: Bloomington Polar Bear Plunge (Jan. 1, 2023)

2 thoughts on “Frozen Lake Monroe means a breakthrough year for 2023 Bloomington Polar Bear Plunge

  1. Great shots! Thank you for covering this event. Would it be OK to post these on the website for

    1. Sure, thanks for asking. Anyone is welcome to use photos published on The B Square for any honest purpose! Let me know if you have any difficulty getting the website to let you download them straight from the page.

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