On Saturday afternoon, Dec. 4, ice is seen on rocks near the boat launch at Clearwater Lake in Industry. The annual Polar Bear Dip was held shortly afterwards. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

INDUSTRY — For some, taking part in the annual polar bear dip was a repeat occurrence. For others it was a bucket list item or a way to fully immerse themselves in their first Chester Greenwood Day experiences.

The air temperature was a balmy 28 degrees and ice had formed on rocks near the boat launch area.

During the Polar Bear Dip, UMF students Julia Lowell at left and Trinity Mincey are seen with a cell phone. The annual dip is held at Clearwater Lake in Industry. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

“It’s my first time, it’s on my bucket list,” Trinity Mincey said. The University of Maine Farmington junior is from Georgia. “I saw it on a flyer.”

For UMF senior Julia Lowell of Farmington it was also new. “I’m supporting my friend,” she said.

This was the sixth time for Tim Dean of Industry. “It’s invigorating,” he noted.

The dip was a family affair for some. Melissa Rogers of New Sharon was dipping for the third time. Her daughter, Poppy said she only made it as far as her ankles the last time she tried. For her sibling Gannon, it was the third dip. Rogers’ nephew, Rhys Eustis of Strong was taking the plunge for the first time.

Originally from New York, for Franklin Journal staff writer Kay Neufeld it was her first Chester Greenwood Day. She wanted to get a feel for the various events by taking part.

Towels and extra clothes were hung on a nearby fence, piled on the ground, or handed to friends or family members. The dippers then made their way towards the boat launch area.

The area by the docks isn’t deep enough, Dean had said earlier.

The annual Polar Bear Dip Saturday, Dec. 4, at Clearwater Lake in Industry was a family affair for some. Pictured in front from left are nephew Rhys Eustis of Strong, siblings Poppy and Gannon Rogers, and mom Melissa Rogers all of New Sharon. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Most of the dippers made their way into the water in a steady stream, although a few lagged behind and waited until some of the first wave returned to shore.

Some dunked down in the water while others dove in head first. A few swam around for a time.

While in the water, some clasped hands or gave each other high fives. A few yelled out to mark their achievement.

“I was expecting it to be much colder,” Melissa Rogers said. “We made it! The water was actually warmer than out here.”

“It wasn’t as bad as I expected,” Neufeld, who swam in the ocean this summer, said. “It feels like there are needles in my legs now.

“I can say I did it once,” she added. “I’m not sure I’ll do it again.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.