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Kathy Mason, a resident who lives near the official ice-off lake, L'Homme Dieu, wore snowshoes while playing Frisbee with her dog, Maggie, Wednesday. When will the snow dunes and ice give way to spring? Take a guess and enter the newspaper's contest. (Photo by Al Edenloff)

When will ice leave L'Homme Dieu?

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News Alexandria, 56308
Echo Press
(320) 763-3258 customer support
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

At this time last year, the newspaper ran a story about the return of spring: brown lawns, bluebirds and 60-degree temperatures.

Although there's not a hint of spring right now, here's one sure sign of it: the return of the Echo Press Ice Out Contest.

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It asks the perennial question: When will the ice melt off Lake L'Homme Dieu?

Readers are invited to send their best guess to the newspaper.

There's more than bragging rights at stake. The winner of the free contest will receive a $50 gift certificate from Elden's Fresh Foods in Alexandria.

An entry form is printed on Page C2 in today's issue and will also be available in this weekend's Lakeland Shopping Guide.

Only one entry per person is allowed.

All entries must be received at the newspaper office by noon on Friday, March 29.

Official ice-spotters from the Echo Press will determine when the ice has left the lake. If two or more people guess the correct date, a drawing will be held to determine the winner.

The Echo Press has been keeping track of the ice-out times dating back to 1867. Lake Osakis was originally the official lake but the site was changed to Lake L'Homme Dieu in 1965.

Last year's ice-out of March 25 tied a record for the earliest ice out ever. The lake was also clear of ice by March 25, 2000.

The ice's most stubborn year was 1878 when it finally retreated on May 15.

In the 142 years the newspaper has recorded ice-outs, the ice has stayed on the lake later than May 2 only 13 times.

More than 140 people took a shot at last year's contest. Guesses ranged from as early as March 19 to as late as April 30.

Seventeen predicted the right date and a drawing was held to determine the winner - Graham Hegstad of Alexandria.

LAKE OSAKIS/L'HOMME DIEU ICE OUT DATES:

1880 April 22

1881 May 4

1882 April 21

1883 April 25

1884 April 27

1885 April 15

1886 ?

1887 April 20

1888 May 1

1889 April 10

1890 April 22

1891 April 22

1892 April 15

1893 May 12

1894 April 24

1895 April 8

1896 April 22

1897 April 18

1898 April 16

1899 April 27

1900 April 17

1901 April 25

1902 April 7

1903 April 17

1904 May 4

1905 April 9

1906 April 18

1907 April 23

1908 April 14

1909 May 2

1910 March 27

1911 April 11

1912 April 13

1913 April 21

1914 April 22

1915 April 18

1916 April 23

1917 April 29

1918 April 11

1919 April 12

1920 April 21

1921 April 1

1922 April 22

1923 April 24

1924 April 14

1925 April 5

1926 April 22

1927 April 16

1928 April 12

1929 April 7

1930 April 12

1931 April 11

1932 April 17

1933 April 18

1934 April 13

1935 April 20

1936 April 26

1937 April 23

1938 April 15

1939 April 23

1940 April 28

1941 April 13

1942 April 13

1943 April 21

1944 April 27

1945 April 1

1946 April 7

1947 April 25

1948 April 21

1949 April 19

1950 May 14

1951 April 30

1952 April 24

1953 April 22

1954 April 20

1955 April 14

1956 May 3

1957 April 20

1958 April 12

1959 April 17

1960 April 22

1961 April 15

1962 April 11

1963 April 29

1964 April 21

1965 May 1

1966 April 27

1967 April 14

1968 April 11

1969 April 24

1970 April 29

1971 April 20

1972 April 28

1973 April 7

1974 April 24

1975 May 5

1976 April 12

1977 April 16

1978 April 26

1979 May 5

1980 April 21

1981 April 2

1982 April 26

1983 April 17

1984 April 17

1985 April 19

1986 April 13

1987 April 6

1988 April 15

1989 April 23

1990 April 18

1991 April 9

1992 April 9

1993 April 19

1994 April 18

1995 April 26

1996 April 29

1997 April 26

1998 April 7

1999 April 10

2000 March 25

2001 April 26

2002 Apri 16

2003 April 13

2004 April 7

2005 April 11

2006 April 9

2007 April 18

2008 May 2

2009 April 21

2010 April 2

2011 April 22

2012 March 25

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Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
(320) 763-1236
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