ESCANABA - The Bark River Lions Club's third annual Off Road IceBreaker Contest kicked off Friday afternoon at the Escanaba Municipal Dock.
For $2 a guess, the public is invited to place their bets on when a pickup truck - stripped of its interior and engine - will fall through the ice on Little Bay de Noc. The truck was parked on the ice Friday at approximately 4 p.m.
Proceeds raised through the IceBreaker contest benefit local charities; the person who guesses the correct time and date the truck falls through the ice will win half the money raised, $500 worth of tires from Mr. Tires, and two weekend passes to this year's races at Bark River International Raceway in June.
Ilsa Matthes | Daily Press
Tom Murray, Toby Kuivinen, and Kevin Casey move the Bark River Lions Club Off Road IceBreaker truck onto the ice Friday near the Escanaba Municipal Dock. The public is invited to guess the date and time the truck will fall through the ice. Each guess costs $2. The Off Road IceBreaker Contest is an annual Lions Club fundraiser which raises money for local charities.
"The Bark River Lions Club came up with this from a contest that the Lions Club in Finland did where they put a little wood structure with a flag out on the ice. They would bet on when it would fall through the ice and the
money would go to local charities," said Bark River Lions Club Vice President Toby Kuivinen.
He assures the contest is eco-friendly and will not harm the environment as the truck is stripped of its engine and interior and has received the necessary permits. The group has received approval from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
A cable secures the truck to the municipal dock, said Kuivinen. Delta County Search and Rescue will retrieve the vehicle once it sinks through the ice.
Last year, the truck broke through at 5:05 p.m. on March 17, earlier than the previous year when it sunk at 9:02 p.m. on April 10.
"Basically when the truck falls through, spring is here," said Kuivinen, noting the event has always drawn many people who routinely drive by to see whether the truck is still out there. There is also a live view of the truck on a 24/7 webcam, which can be viewed online at www.barkriveroffroad.com.
"It's grown a lot from the first year to the second year, so we hope the third year continues on that pace," said Kuivinen.
Tickets officially went on sale Friday and are available at the following businesses: Northern Plumbing and Heating, Lakeshore Chiropractic, Rosy's Diner, Splash of Color, Adams Grocery, Joe's Marathon, Auto Value, the Delta County Chamber of Commerce, and each of the four Mr. Tire locations in Escanaba, Menominee, Marquette, and Iron Mountain.