On Thin Ice

  • Visit North Central

Ice Out EventNew England winters — with their gorgeous, sparkling landscapes; exhilarating fresh air; and wealth of outdoor activities — are undeniable treasures.

But there comes a time when you just might start to wonder when the chilly days will warm, the sunlight will linger, and the landscape will emerge from under that blanket of snow and ice.

That’s when you’ll want to start watching local “ice out” events — competitions in which participants take their best guess as to when the ice on area ponds will melt enough for community icons to take a chilly dip in the drink.

Leominster’s entry into this cool competition is Rocky, a nattily-attired mannequin who perches on a lifeguard chair on Rockwell Pond through the long nights (and short days) of winter. You can keep an eye on him via webcam as he waits, off the shore of the Leominster Veterans Center on Pond Street, for the firmament below him to soften, thin, and break. To guess the date and time of Rocky’s chilly dip, visit leovets.org.

WHS BowlWestminster, meanwhile, relies on a chowder bowl — filled with Westminster Crackers — on Round Pond. The Westminster Historical Society stirs up this challenge each winter to raise funds for its activities. Visit the Society on Facebook for details.

Hubbardston showcases its Frozen Assets — a life-size cutout of an outhouse — waiting for a hint of Spring. The outhouse sits on the Country Hen Pond on Williamsville Road. Visit hubbardston250 on Facebook to take your best shot on this one.

Grab a calendar, check the almanac, meditate, roll the dice… Use your favorite prognostication tools, and see if you can guess when these local icons take a watery plunge!