Daily Archives: 8 April 2020

Nenana Ice Classic 2020

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Not surprisingly, even the 103 year old Nenana Ice Classic has seen some changes this year due to Covid-19.  Every year, since 1917, Alaskans have been betting on when the ice would go out on the Tanana River at the village of Nenana.

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The Ice Classic time schedule

The earliest the ice has gone out was last year, when the famed tripod tripped the clock at 12:21 am on April 14.  The latest the ice has gone out was on May 20, which has happened twice.

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As one can see from the above graph, 2019 was an anomaly for more than one reason.  The ice rarely goes out between midnight and 9am.

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Image from the Nenana Ice Cam on April 7.

As of April 6, ice thickness near the tripod was 32.5″.  Usually, all guesses/tickets must be in before April 6, but the deadline has been extended to April 10.  We usually buy the tickets at various venues that have the bright red Ice Classic Can on their counter, the filled out tickets are then dropped in the can.  This year, since so many businesses are closed, and people are urged to stay at home, guesses can be mailed to the Nenana Ice Classic directly.  Entries must be postmarked no later than April 10, 2020.  Each guess/ticket is $2.50.

I have never missed an Ice Classic since I moved to Fairbanks, and this year joined the stay at home club, and mailed in my guesses.  Last year’s jackpot was $311,652.