Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)

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It’s Breakup Time!: The Nenana Ice Classic

The Nenana Ice Classic is an annual contest/lottery held each year in the Alaskan city of Nenana (just an hours drive from my summer home of Healy).

Photo courtesy of

The contest challenges individuals to guess the exact date and time of the breakup of ice on the Tenana River.

After the ice forms each winter, a tripod is placed about 300 ft. from shore in the middle of the frozen river. A device is attached to the tripod that records the moment the ice goes out.

Raising of the tripod. Photo by Diane Jensen

It may sound a bit underwhelming to those not familiar with the contest, but for a lot of people (including moi) it’s all very exciting. The winner(s) have the potential to rake in quite the amount of cashola (depending upon how many pick the same date/time, of course–last year 22 people shared the pot).

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