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Plop of concrete signals Spring on Goshen pond - April 15, 2006


Plop of concrete signals spring on Goshen pond


Used by permission.  Copyright GazetteNET.com



[ Originally published on: Saturday, April 15, 2006 ]

In Goshen, spring was finally sprung at 8:28 p.m., Saturday, April 1.

That's when the ice on Hammond Pond finally gave way, leaving Monica Neveu of Goshen this year's big winner.

Neveu, who purchased 10 tickets, had one for 8:18 p.m. - a mere 10 minutes off the actual moment of sinking. The competition was pretty intense, though: 78 others were betting on April 1 as the day of reckoning.

The second annual meltdown was the brainchild of Robert Labrie. First, he sets a concrete block on a wooden pallet positioned on the ice that covers Hammond Pond. A rope is tied both to the block and to an electric clock that is plugged into an outlet in the gatehouse on the dam. When the ice melts, the resultant tension on the rope yanks the electric cord, stopping the clock.

All the while, Labrie has been peddling tickets at a buck a pop to people who believe they've got the inside line on Mother Nature's intentions.

Proceeds from the event benefit the town's 225th anniversary celebration slated for later this summer. This year, said Labrie, more than $500 will go to the celebration, and over $400 to the winner.

As of early April, more than 300 men and women (and a couple of ambitious canines) had purchased some 943 tickets. They came from 16 states and two countries and were almost evenly divided between men and women.

The most popular choices for the meltdown were April 1, chosen by 79 people; April 2, which was chosen by 70 people; and April 3, which was the choice of 55 people.

Goshen plans to celebrate its 225th anniversary over the weekend of July 7.