Who’ll win the Upside Down Ice-Out contest in Mont Vernon?

One optimistic guess has already proved wrong in the inaugural Upside Down Ice-Out contest in Mont Vernon, and hopefully the pessimist who guessed July 4 will be wrong, too – but as April arrives the tension builds to see who will win a recycled trophy for knowing when the floating flag will pop up through the ice at Carleton Pond.

Twenty-five $5 tickets were sold at the Mont Vernon General Store and during the town sledding party in March for the contest, sponsored by the Conservation Commission as a way to raise money, and attention, for the proposed restoration of Carleton Pond. Guesses ranged from March 17 – perhaps a bitter joke from somebody sick of shoveling the driveway – to July 4, perhaps a cry of despair from somebody who thought they’d never be able to stop shelving the driveway.

Most guesses landed in April, scattered pretty evenly from April 1 through April 30, although the 10th, 14th, 15th and 21st all received multiple guesses. May 2 and May 5 also got bids.

The Conservation Commission placed a floating flag, of the sort used by Scuba divers to mark their position, underneath the pond ice in December. The day that it is first spotted will be officially called Carleton Pond Ice Out. Recycled trophies have been made by the committee to give to the closest guess, as well as second and third closest.

The Mont Vernon Conservation Commission has commission a proposal to dredge the century-old man-made pond, which is filling with silt, and to create a trail around it. The cost would be around $90,000, depending on the details.

Voters have set aside for $45,000 for the project; fund-
raising and the search for grants continues.