Every year in Hancock, NH, the Congregational Church sells Ice Out raffle tickets as a fund raiser. It’s a custom in many New England towns. Ticket holders wager on the date that the ice will go out of nearby Norway Pond and split the proceeds with the Church if they win. Historically, it adds up to a good amount of money.
Yesterday, April 16th, was the day for 2018. Residents were alerted by the red flag that popped-up on the steeple of the ingenious model of the Town Meeting House that organizers built to place on the pond at the frozen start of winter and to house the instruments that monitor the surface conditions until that critical ice-out moment. It’s all telegraphed wirelessly to the web site which you can see more of here.
Since 2013 the ice has gone out within a few days of mid-April, except 2016 when the ice was out March 11th!! A life long resident of the town told us yesterday that he remembers the traditional first day of fishing in Lake Nubanusit Lake, the big recreational body of water in Hancock, was April 19th, and that Nubanusit ice-out always follows Norway Pond ice-out.
Which might be information to take to the bank for next years contest.