Spring finally arrives at Joe’s Pond

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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, 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. It 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 over $1,300 apiece in the annual Joe’s Pond Ice Out Contest, according to organizer Dave Parker.

The 20th annual contest drew 12,000 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.

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