A hardy group of about 20 kids, women and men made a big splash in a frigid Lake Erie at Lakeside Chautauqua’s inaugural “Jingle Jump,” most wearing costumes and hoping the waters would be a little bit warmer than the 26 degree temperatures on shore.
No such luck.
There wasn’t much of a difference in determining which was colder, the air or the water, at first jump. Many made a quick run into fairly calm waters and made a fully-submerged vault into the deeper water, then scampered back to the beach for a dry towel.
Better yet, the Fountain Inn was just a block away. The Lakeside folks had set aside warm rooms for changing out of wet outfits.
The cold-water plunge was a small part of the resort’s family tradition this holiday season of celebrating “A Lakeside Christmas!” Lakeside expanded its annual Community Christmas Dinner into an all-day event filled with children’s activities, family-friendly entertainment and fun and fames on Saturday. Holiday movies were also featured on Friday and Saturday.
The festivities were held in conjunction with the Marblehead Merchants’ “Village Lights,” an event that highlights local shops and restaurants on the peninsula. Admission and parking for both events were free.
The “Jingle Jump” was brand new, the brainstorm of Daniel Dudley, chief financial and operating officer of the Lakeside Chautauqua resort. While there was no gate fee on this winter day, and no cost to join in on the jump, jumpers and their friends and family who came to watch were invited to make a donation to the Lakeside Annual Fund in support of the lakefront.
Awards were given to: Best Dressed Jumper, Jumper with the Most Team Spirit, Most Festive Jumper and Most Money Raised by an Individual or Team.