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With temperatures warming above freezing three times this week, the ice is melting, ever so slowly on Lake L’Homme Dieu. This photo was taken Wednesday from the L’Homme Dieu/Carlos bridge. (Al Edenloff/Echo Press)

When will winter lose its icy grip?

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Here’s a way to dream about spring: Take a gaze at all of the ice out on the lakes and predict when it will disappear.

And you could pick up a cool prize, too. The annual Echo Press Ice Out Contest is now under way.

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Readers are invited to send their best guess as to when the ice will leave Lake L’Homme Dieu. Entry form is on Page C3 in today’s newspaper and will also be available in this weekend’s Lakeland Shopping Guide.

Only one guess is allowed per person.

Whoever nails the right date or comes closest will win a $50 gift certificate from Elden’s Fresh Foods in Alexandria. If more than one person guesses the right date, a drawing will break the tie.

All entries must be received at the newspaper office by noon on Friday, April 4.

Official ice-spotters from the Echo Press will determine when the ice has left the lake.

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 May 13 came just two days shy of the latest ever ice-out recorded by the newspaper: May 15, 1878.

The late ice conditions last spring triggered suspense about whether the lakes would be ready for boaters in time for the fishing opener.

The ice has left the lake on May 1 or later just seven times in the last 100 years.

L’HOMME DIEU ICE OUT DATES

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

2013 May 13

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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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