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Ice out contest begins
RIVER VALLEY -- Help others in need and help yourself with a chance to win a prize package in the seventh annual Rumford Falls Times' Ice Out Contest.
Just bring your canned good(s), non-perishable food item(s) or pet food along with your ice out entry (form provided on Pg. 2A of this paper) with the date and time you think the ice will go out of Roxbury Pond to the Times' office at 69 Congress St. in Rumford.
Readers donated food items that went to the local food bank last year as well as pet food to McKennel's Animal Shelter.
The entry forms will also be provided in our issues through March 20. All entries must be received by noon on Friday, March 22 to be eligible. A random drawing will determine the winner in the event that more than one correct guess is received.
The prize package from our sponsors includes a $50 gift certificate to Surry Seafood, a $20 gift certificate from Mexico One Stop, an oil change, lube and tire rotation at Dan's Automotive, and a six-month subscription to the Rumford Falls Times.
Dennis Daniel, owner of Ellis Pond Variety, also has his own ice out contest underway at his store in Roxbury, with each chance being for $1 to guess the date and time when the ice out occurs. Chances will be accepted there through March 31, with whoever is closest winning all the money collected in the pool.
Daniel indicated on March 1 that the average thickness of the ice on the pond measures a minumum of 24 inches, above the 16 inches of ice this time last year. At one time, he said he count 31 ice shacks on the pond, one of the largest numbers in recent memory.
Last year's ice out winner was Annette Ross of Rumford, who was closest to the ice out of March 26 with a prediction of March 30. This was about a month earlier than the April 27 ice out the previous year when the ice was estimated to be between 24 and 30 inches at this time in 2011.
Records of the ice out at Roxbury Pond have been kept at least since 1978, noted Daniel. He said the average ice out has been between April 16-21. The earliest recorded ice out was on April 6 in 2006. The latest was May 8 in 1978.
Daniel noted that to alleviate any controversy that might arise from such a contest, they have a Game Warden involved to determine the actual ice out.