In Sylvan Lake the sign that spring is giving way to summer is when the ice finally leaves the lake.
That day came earlier than in recent years over the weekend. On May 2 it was official, there was no signs of ice left on the lake.
As is his tradition, Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre announced on his Facebook page Sunday afternoon that the ice has officially melted.
“Now I have been out hunting for ice. I started in Sylvan Lake, I went through the Summer Village of Jarvis Bay, through Birchcliff. I went from Red Deer County to Lacombe County, I went through Sunbreaker Cover, around the west side on Westside County Estates, Kuusamo Krest, Half Moon Bay, the Summer Village of Norglenwold and now I am back here in Sylvan Lake and I did not find any ice…” McIntyre said in his Facebook video.
May 2 is the official date, for everyone keeping track.
The earliest day we have on record on the ice leaving the late is April 15, 2016.
It may be surprising to some, but Sylvan Lake has been ice free before the start of May numerous times since 1930.
In 1934 the ice left the lake on April 26, and on April 20 in 1941. In 1994 the ice was gone on April 21 and in 2010 the lake was ice free on April 22.
“It is such an exciting time to celebrate. Now we get to get ready for the boating, the swimming, the wading, the watching, the paddling, all the things that make spring and summer so special in the Town of Sylvan Lake,” said McIntyre.
McIntyre famously holds a contest on his Facebook to see who could guess when the ice would leave the lake.
This year, the mayor was joined by the Rotary Club who held a 50/50 raffle in conjunction with the annual tradition. Residents bought raffle tickets based on what day they thought the ice would leave the lake.
The raffle closed at midnight on May 2.