Do you have a winning Joe’s Pond Ice Out ticket?

Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 10:54 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2023 at 12:33 PM EDT
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WEST DANVILLE, Vt. (WCAX) - The Joe’s Pond Ice Out Contest has a winner/s. The third week in March may be the official start of spring, but at Joe’s Pond, it’s not springtime until the ice is out.

Runoff from mountains, muddy roads, and daffodils ready to bloom are sure signs of spring at Joe’s Pond.

“The loons are back,” said Michelle Walker with the Joe’s Pond Association.

But in this part of Vermont, ice still covers some of the water and the weather changes quickly, if not the season. Since 1988, residents and those just traveling through have guessed when a cement block in the middle of the pond will break through the ice stopping a clock on shore. This year it happened Monday night, April 17th at 10:18 p.m. This year, 12,000 tickets were sold for one buck a piece.

“A lot of people come in from out of town, buy their tickets, stand around, talk about it. And they just kind of keep asking more questions and you really can’t give them an answer because you don’t know,” said Sharon Emerson with Hastings General Store.

“I was 15 minutes off one year,” said Pat Burgman from nearby Walden. She says she was six hours off this year, which will not be good enough to win. She bought ten tickets. “Spread it out, morning, just vary the times. It’s just a chance but it is fun.”

Gregg Coffin of East Montpelier missed the time by about two days. “April 19th at 4:20,” he said. “Never won it, but it supports a good cause.”

Half the money raised from the event goes to the Joe’s Pond Association. This year, it will be focused on water quality.

The winner of the contest still needs to be verified by the Joe’s Pond Association, which could take a couple of weeks. Once that happens, that person will walk away, not only with bragging rights, but also a $5,000 cash prize.