On northern Vt. pond, spring arrives when cinder block falls
WEST DANVILLE, Vt. (AP) -- Forget what the calendar says. In these parts, spring doesn't arrive until the cinder block falls through the ice on Joe's Pond.
The 65-pound block, which is placed on a wooden pallet on the frozen surface of the pond and tied to an alarm clock on shore each winter in a $1-per-chance guessing game, plunged into the water at 5:25 p.m. Friday.
Four people who guessed April 25 at 5:15 p.m. -- the closest time -- won $1,323 apiece in the annual Joe's Pond Ice Out Contest, according to organizer Dave Parker.
Don Rogers, of Swartz Creek, Mich., Janet Egizi, of St. Johnsbury, Roxanne Gorham, of Lyndonville, and Joe Kelly, of Barre, were the winners. The 20th annual contest drew 12,039 entries, many far from Vermont.
The earliest-ever ice out date was April 16, in 1998 and 2006; the latest was May 6, in 1992.