UP rite of spring involves a submerged pick-up

Apr 29, 2014

Kuivinen says for the first time, someone guessed the exact minute when the truck fell into Little Bay for the Icebreaker Competition in Escanaba.
Credit Flickr - Invinci_bull

Escanaba Michigan’s “icebreaker contest” is becoming a rite of Spring in the Upper Peninsula community. Organizers haul a stripped down pickup truck out onto the frozen surface of Little Bay De Noc and the wagering begins. When will the ice give way? When will this stripped-down Ford be sent to the bottom?

Toby Kuivinen is President of the Bark River Lions Club and one of the organizers of Escanaba’s “icebreaker” contest. Kuivinen started the event as a fundraiser and this year marks the 4th annual competition.

The truck sits atop the ice above an incline, so the water is anywhere from 25 to 35 ft deep. Once the truck falls in, they have a dive team retrieve the truck with airbags and tow it out of the water.