The Joe's Pond Association

January 17, 2021
10:23 PM

Ice Out Page

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The Joe's Pond Ice Out Contest

If you have an ice out question, click here.

Ice Out Update

JPA will have no meetings this summer because of the pandemic, therefore, Ice-Out Tickets will need to be picked up at Hastings Store or you can contact Mary Ann Cassani or Diane Rossi and they will arrange for you to get as many tickets as you wish. Contact information is below:

Mary Ann Cassani 802-684-2195 (h), 802-249-1544 (c); or email here

Diane Rossi 802-563-6088 (h), 802-595-5516 (c), or email here

Ticket Information

Tickets are $1 per ticket except when you use your credit card to buy tickets online. In that case, you must buy 10 tickets, and the total cost for the 10 tickets is $10.

Do not enter the same date and time on more than one ticket. If you select the same date and time more than once, only one of your same dates and times will be valid in this contest.

As of 7/1/2020 through 4/1/2021, use any of the following methods to get 2021 tickets:

Print Tickets Online ($1 each)

Email JPA for Tickets ($1 each)

Purchase Tickets Online ($10 - must buy 10.) Available
beginning 3/1


You can get 2021 tickets at our outlet stores. The list of outlets is as follows:

West DanvilleHastings Store7/1/20 through 4/1/2021
DanvilleMarty's 1st Stop, Azalea Sun, Bentleys Bakery and Larrabee's Lumber3/1/2021 through 4/1/2021
St. JohnsburyCaplans, Natural Provisions, Aubuchon Hardware3/1/2021 through 4/1/2021
St Johnsbury CenterThurston Auto, and The Tower3/1/2021 through 4/1/2021
BarreDente's Market, Barre Optical3/1/2021 through 4/1/2021
MontpelierCapitol City Imports, Meadow Mart (284 Elm St), VFW (Pioneer St), and The Masters Edge3/1/2021 through 4/1/2021
MarshfieldMarshfield Village Store3/1/2021 through 4/1/2021
CabotCabot Village Store, Harry's Hardware3/1/2021 through 4/1/2021
WaldenCorner Stop-Inn Shop3/1/2021 through 4/1/2021

Be sure to fill out each ticket stub carefully with your name and address so we will be able to contact you if you are a winner. Return ticket stub(s) with the proper amount of money to: JPA, P.O.Box 111, W Danville VT 05873. Tickets must be in or postmarked on 4/1 at the latest (tickets can be submitted on 4/1). Good luck - and thanks for playing the game!

NOTE: in the event of equipment failure, the iceout committee will determine the time of iceout.

The Ice-Out Game and How it Grew

The Joe's Pond Ice-Out Contest is a result of cabin fever. In the 1980's, Joe’s Pond summer resident Jules Chatot, often visited his camp in the winter or early spring to ride snowmobiles, play cards and socialize with friends and family – it was like "deer camp" in the dead of winter, or "spring break" with snow, March blizzards and muddy roads.

The weather was a favorite topic of conversation when Jules and his friends went to West Danville for morning coffee at the Joe’s Pond Country Store or to pick up supplies at Hastings Store. Someone would always ask, "When do you think the ice is going out?"

To make life more interesting, wagers would often be made. When money was involved, Jules kept track of each guess in a pocket size notebook – and collected $1 for each bet. He was president of the Joe's Pond Association in 1987, when he and his buddies got the idea to turn the rapidly expanding friendly game into a real contest. Every year the ice went out a little differently, so they had to be creative in how to be fair about establishing an actual date and time.

yearly iceout times

After considerable discussion and innumerable ideas, they settled on a simple, low-tech control system that has been in use for over two decades: they placed an already well-used electric clock on Homer Fitts' deck, tethered it to a cinder block wired to a wooden pallet placed about 100 feet or so out on the ice just off the fishing access by the Fitts's camp. That was it. The clock was checked twice daily in the a.m. and p.m., and when the block went down, the clock was disconnected, stopping at the "official" ice-out time. Whoever guessed closest to the date and time the clock stopped won the contest.

That first year, April of 1988, there were only a few hundred people in the game. In 1990, 1500 tickets were sold, and Jules's daughter, Judy, set up a database to replace the shirt pocket notebook. The ever increasing database was turned over to a paid “data specialist” in 1994. The game has grown steadily over the years, and now there are well over 12,000 entries each year.

Some changes took place in 2013. The site for the pallet and flag was moved, and the old electric alarm clock, showing signs of age, was replaced with a special weather-proof clock. That was also the first year tickets could be purchased on line.

People all over the United States and some from overseas play the game. Proceeds after expenses are split, 50/50, between the winner(s) and Joe’s Pond Association (JPA). The JPA share is used to fund an annual free fireworks display to celebrate the Fourth of July.

There’s no exact science for winning the Joe’s Pond Ice-Out Contest – only Mother Nature knows how each spring will turn out – so everyone has an equal chance of picking the correct date and time to win about $5,000.

Past Chairs of the Ice Out Contest:

1988 – 2003 Don Walker
2004 – 2008 Dave Parker
2009 – 2017 Diane Rossi and Jane Brown
2018 - present Diane Rossi.

Past Winners, Dates and Times

Year Winner Town and State Date Time
1988 Edward Bird West Danville VT 4/26/88 12:31 p.m.
1989 Bob Kerschner Sun City FL 5/5/89 9:05 a.m.
1990 John Reilly Barre, VT 4/26/90 9:40 a.m.
1991 Scott Lazare Lido Beach NJ 4/22/91 4:16 a.m
1992 Charese McSheffrey Barre VT 5/6/92 1:19 p.m.
1993 Ray Strousos Barre VT 4/29/93 1:38 p.m.
1994 Jerome Bolkum Barre VT 5/4/94 12:12 p.m.
1995 Tom Buzzi Kent OH 4/23/95 2:50 p.m.
1996 Nancy Potter Plainfield VT 5/1/96 11:29 p.m.
1997 Ralph Bissell Walden VT 5/1/97 7:43 a.m.
1998 Andre Jenny Montpelier VT 4/16/98 6:41 p.m.
1999 Gilles Moreau East Barre VT 4/26/99 2:37 a.m.
2000 Tammy Hatch West Danville VT 4/30/00 6:19 a.m.
2001 Kay Scott St. Johnsbury VT 5/4/01 1:44 a.m.
2002 N. Mason

Jeff Temple

Stephen Bean

Charlene Zabek
Various 4/18/02 4:18 p.m.
2003 Brodie Frazier East Montpelier, VT 4/28/03 9:45 a.m.
2004 Janet & Richard Hazen South Hero, VT 4/21/04 3:25 p.m.
2005 G.D. Lanois Bonita Springs, FLA 4/21/05 2:50 p.m.
2006 Pam Desrochers

Frenchie Cutting

Lucille Dente
St Johnsbury VT

Swanton VT

Barre VT
04/16/06 3:20 p.m.
2007 Dr. Bob Marshall Montpelier, VT 5/1/07 4:45 p.m.
2008 Janet Egizi

Roxanne Gorham

Joe Kelly

Don Rogers
St Johnsbury VT

Lyndonville VT

Barre VT

Swartz Creek MI
4/25/08 5:25 p.m.
2009 Ash Desmond Richmond, VT 4/20/09 10:21 p.m.
2010 Bill Barber St Johnsbury, VT 4/05/10 2:46 p.m.
2011 Karen Brouillette Websterville, VT 4/27/11 10:17 p.m.
2012 Judy Lavely Danville, VT 4/8/12 5:25 p.m.
2013 Gary Clark Barre, VT 4/24/13 8:46 a.m.
2014 Kelsey Phillips

Bill Brochu
Iowa City, IA

Springfield, MA
4/29/14 10:06 a.m.
2015 Mary Numa West Haven CT 4/29/15 6:14 p.m.
2016 Pamela Swift Barre, VT 4/12/16 5:04 p.m.
2017 Emily Wiggett North Danville, VT 4/23/17 4:32 p.m.
2018 Michael S. Cody Barre, VT 5/4/18 11:27 a.m.
2019 Robynn L. Albert Essex Jct, VT 4/25/19 5:39 a.m.
2020 Angela Buttura

Nancy Durand
Essex Junction VT

Hardwick VT
4/15/20 6:07 a.m.