The Drummond Island Digest is pleased to announce the “First Freighter” contest. The object of the contest is for the ticket purchaser to guess the month, day, hour, and minute that the first freighter goes through the Soo Locks in Spring 2016.
Usually, but not always, the Soo Locks in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan open at midnight on March 25 to officially begin the shipping season. Sometimes weather has been so frigid and the ice has been so thick that the opening of the locks has been delayed by days or weeks. Or conversely, the weather has been so mild and ice conditions have been minimal that the Army Corp of Engineers, at the request of shipping companies, have opened the locks early.
The exact date and time is never known and calls for celebration by many, especially freighter enthusiasts. The moment is determined by the Army Corp of Engineers. The guess closest to the exact time determines the winner. If there is a tie, there will be a random drawing to determine a winner.
The ticket purchaser who guesses the date and time, to the closest minute, will win a trip for the winner and one guest on the Drummond Islander Ferry, courtesy of the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority (EUPTA), to witness the release of the spring fingerlings, typically salmon or walleye, by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The fingerling release generally occurs in early spring, a couple weeks after the ice has moved out of the St Marys River and often involves a trip south of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse into Lake Huron.
Use the official entry form below to submit your guess. There is no limit to how many guess you may submit.
The cost for one guess is $5, three for $10.
All tickets must be completely filled out with the correct amount enclosed, payable to Drummond Island Digest, PO Box 469, Drummond Island, MI 49726 and be received by March 15th, 2016.
The winner will be notified within a week of the official opening of the Soo Locks and will be published in the following issue of the Digest.
Ticket purchasers must be at least 18 years of age. In the event that any unforeseen occurrence (malicious act, tampering, act of nature, or otherwise) makes it impossible to determine the exact time of the first freighter passing through the Soo Locks, one winner will be determined by a random draw of the top ten closest guesses. All decisions of the Drummond Island Digest are final.
Recent History of First Freighters through the Soo Locks
2015 – Edwin H. Gott, 11:05 am, March 25
2014 – Cason J. Callaway, April 4
2013 – Paul R. Tregurtha, 12:01 am, March 25
2012 – Mesabi Miner, 12:18 pm, March 24