The 50th annual Olcott Polar Bear “Swim For Sight” was held Sunday afternoon on the Lake Ontario shores at Olcott Beach. Roughly 400 swimmers participated, while all types of food and vendors could be found on the hamlet’s Main Street for a huge crowd of onlookers.
The day started out with the fireman's tug of war – with 20 fire companies participating – and included a parade led by the Buffalo Brass Machine to the beach at Krull Park. There, Helene Pavlock of Youngstown was chosen as the 2019 Polar Bear Queen. Soon after, swimmers in all types of outlandish gear entered the 35-degree frigid waters.
Miller Hose and Olcott fire responders, along with the U.S. Coast Guard from Station Niagara, kept a close watch on the swimmers and made sure everyone was safe.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Olcott Lions Club “Swim for Sight” programs. (Photos by Wayne Peters)
Team Mutual Aide won the fireman’s tug of war.
The Buffalo Brass Machine led the parade to the beach.
Polar Bear Queen Helene Pavlock of Youngstown on the beach and enjoying her dip in the lake.
Swimmers frolicked in the icy lake.