Ice Watch returns for 2018

The wire is up and KVFD is ready for the 2017 Housatonic Ice Watch.

The wire is up and KVFD is ready for the 2018 Housatonic Ice Watch.

KVFD’s popular fundraiser, the Housatonic River Ice Watch will be back for 2018.

The annual Housatonic River Ice Watch is a game to guess when the ice on the river will melt each year. The clock begins ticking on Feb. 20. When the ice begins to melt and move down the river, the tripod goes with it. Once the tripod moves 100 feet from its starting point the clock will stop, the time is recorded and there is a winner. The deadline for submitting guesses, which cost $2, is midnight Feb. 19 each year. All guesses for when the river will melt must be between Feb. 20 at 12:01 a.m. and April 30 at midnight.  There is always a contest regardless of the ice. The game turns into a drawing of a ticket. During the past 40 years, there have only been eight drawings.

Tickets to make guesses are available for sale at a variety of locations around town. One prominent one is in the Kent Post Office. Look for the white boxes with the tripod on them. You can put your money and ticket with the guess right in the envelope and put it a box.

Volunteers were able to re-establish the wire across the river that is essential to the timer connected to the tripod. It was damaged several years ago.

The founder of the Kent Ice Watch was the late John Greene, the former publisher of the weekly newspaper, The Kent Good Times Dispatch. He first saw an Ice Watch in Alaska, where local residents watched the ice on their own river. He brought back this idea to Kent and started this fundraiser with KVFD. The Fire Department splits the total amount collected with the person who guesses closest to when the river melts.

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