The Lake of the Woods was packed. Dozens threw their gloves, coats and scarves aside for a great cause. There was a lot of anticipation in the air, as more than 100 people got ready to take the plunge.
Some had their own techniques. Some were barefoot, shirtless and some dressed like a fairies. Organizations from all over Central Illinois jumped into the icy cold Lake of the Woods for people like Nicholas Ferris.
"It's great; time of your life really. I can honestly say if I didn't do this, I wouldn't be having fun in my life," Ferris said.
He says the Special Olympics has given him the opportunity to be himself. Today, he fits right in.
"It's that type of mentality where I honestly feel like, you know what, right now the norm isn't the norm. Everybody can have fun and not have a care in the world for a day," Ferris said.
While the event was all about having fun, it was also about staying safe. Carle Ambulance was standing by for plungers and other crowd members with main concerns of water safety and preventing hypothermia.
EMT's and the Cornbelt Diving Team were standing by with rafts and diving suits ready. In all the years Mahomet has hosted a Polar Plunge, there has never been the need for an emergency rescue.