If you are thinking of entering The Sudbury Star’s annual Ice Guessing Contest next year, you might want to write down April 29 on a few ballots.
Mrs. Joyce Corriveau of Wahnapitae, who guessed the ice would leave Ramsey Lake at 10:47 a.m. April 29 – just one minute off the winning time of 10:46 a.m. – wins $1,000 in New Sudbury Centre gift cards for having the closest guess in the newspaper’s 80th Annual Ice Guessing Contest.
“I’m pleased to have the official results for this year’s Ice Guessing Contest as it provided some particular challenges in the 80th year,” said Andre Grandchamp, group manager, media sales, at The Sudbury Star and North Bay Nugget. “When we launched the contest, we had just moved to our new location (on Regent Street) and then sent home to work. Retailers were being told to close, so it certainly caused us to pivot quickly.
“Two of our ballot box locations were closed, but fortunately Kelly Lake Building Supplies was deemed an essential service such as ours and remained open for the duration of the contest. We also extended the post-dated mailing deadline to accommodate entries that would have otherwise went to the New Sudbury Centre or Sudbury Boat & Canoe to cast their ballot.”
Grandchamp said going through the paper ballots deposited in ballot boxes also presented a challenge due to COVID-19.
“Extra precautions were taken to ensure our employees’ safety by bagging the ballot boxes and leaving them bagged for an extended period of time,” he said. “I realize that most people would expect that all ballots are individually reviewed, but this year was extraordinary. Typically, this is an occasion where we’d get together as a team reviewing all the ballots and having pizza.
“Instead, I took them home and personally checked every single paper ballot by myself to limit our employees’ exposure.”
Corriveau’s winning entry was made using a paper ballot. About 7,000 paper and online ballots were made in the contest.
The second-place winner, Irene Demore of Sudbury, wins a $500 gift certificate from Sudbury Boat & Canoe.
Third-place winner Yvonne Ferron of Val Caron and fourth-place winner Bruce Kutchaw of Sudbury both win a $250 gift certificate from Kelly Lake Building Supplies.
The 2019 winning time, by way of comparison, was 8:50 p.m. May 8, which would be very appropriate for 2020 given the snowstorm last Thursday night (May 7), which blanketed the Greater Sudbury area and was followed by a temperature of -4 Celsius around dawn Friday.
The earliest the ice has left Ramsey Lake was April 4 in both 2010 and 1946. The latest departure was May 11 in 1972.
The ice has left the lake in early May four of the past six years. In the other two years, the ice disappeared on the same day: April 29.