Hammond Acres Club, Inc.

welcomes you to the Meltdown Page

2020 Meltdown as of 02/01/2020

Click on the year below to see contest updates for that period.

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

With over two feet of snow that fell in December and only a few inches more in January, the 16th annual Meltdown contest is back for another year.

The concrete blocks sit on a wooden pallet that holds a flag.  The flag is simply a marker that shows where the blocks are in the event they get completely covered in snow.  The blocks are connected to an electric clock by a rope.  The clock is plugged into an outlet in the gatehouse on the dam holding back Hammond Pond.  Once the blocks fall through the ice or the ice floe moves away from the dam, the tension on the cord will pull the plug out of the wall socket and stop the clock.  Simple, right?

This year, our fundraising efforts will be directed towards the ‘Take and Eat’ program. The program provides meals to seniors on weekends and holidays when Meals on Wheels is not available.  Our Lady of the Hills Parish in Haydenville and the Williamsburg Congregational Church have teamed up and are starting to deliver hot meals to people in our area.

Regular updates are posted here and on the Meltdown Facebook page.  Additional tickets can also be downloaded from this site using the link above.  Participants that include an e-mail address on their ticket stub will be added to a private e-mail distribution list that is used to provide periodic updates and snapshots of the block.  The current list includes several hundred addresses of people who are regularly entertained by these updates.  The sooner your tickets are returned, the sooner you can become part of that exclusive group.

The deadline for ticket submissions is Wednesday, April 1st at 11:59:59 P.M.  Back in 2016, the block fell through the ice on March 11th – almost three weeks before the deadline.  Tickets received after April 1st (unless they were postmarked on or before that date) will be returned.  This date is weather dependent and will be irrelevant if the block falls through the ice before the deadline.

Here are some statistics from the past 15 years of Meltdown events to consider as you make your selections:

  • The most popular dates continue to be 4/15 (783), 4/10 (760), 4/12 (745), 4/1 (721) and 4/13 (702).
  • 84% of all guesses have been for dates between March 27th and April 26th.

As you can see from the table below, the block has gone as early as March 11th (2016) and as late as April 21st (2007). The official endings of the previous contests were as follows:

2019 – 04/13 at 11:00 AM
2018 – 04/18 at  8:30 PM
2017 – 04/11 at   5:07 PM
2016 – 03/11 at 12:58 AM
2015 – 04/17 at   4:17 AM
2014 – 04/14 at 11:51 AM
2013 – 04/16 at 12:19 PM
2012 – 03/19 at  2:14 PM

     2011 – 04/14 at 12:44 PM
     2010 – 04/02 at 11:52 AM
     2009 – 04/05 at 11:02 AM
     2008 – 04/16 at  3:04 PM
     2007 – 04/21 at 12:00 PM
     2006 – 04/01 at  8:18 PM
     2005 – 04/12 at  4:47 PM

Other significant dates to consider are as follows:

  • 03/21 at   1:00PM – Start time for the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day parade
  • 03/19 at 11:50PM – First day of Spring
  • 04/02 at   1:05PM – First pitch on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium against the Toronto Blue Jays
  • 04/02 at   2:05PM – First pitch on Opening Day at Fenway Park in Boston against the Chicago White Sox
  • 04/15 at   2:45AM – Day and time the Titanic sank in 1912

As always…THINK SPRING!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Click on the flags for the answers to your questions.

Checks should be made payable to the Hammond Acres Club, Inc.

Ticket stubs and payment should be mailed to:

2020 Meltdown

P.O. Box 923

Williamsburg, MA 01096-0923

The Take and Eat program being run by Our Lady of the Hills Parish in Haydenville and the Williamsburg Congregational Church.

The deadline for ticket submissions is Wednesday, April 1st at 11:59:59PM.  Back in 2016, the block fell through the ice on March 11th– almost three weeks before the deadline.  Tickets received after April 1st (unless they were postmarked on or before that date) will be returned.  This date is weather dependent and will be irrelevant if the block falls through the ice before the deadline.

Video Archive

Here is our binge-worthy library of videos taken over the years of the Meltdown Contest.

2019 – This time-lapse video captures 11 hours of activity on Saturday, April 13th from 8:30AM to 7:30 PM and shows the impact Mother Nature can have on the ice floe on Hammond Pond.  As you watch the video, pay close attention to the crack in the ice along the shoreline on the left.  It’s amazing to see the impact wind has on the surface of the ice – something our eyes can’t perceive because it happens in slow motion.  Condensing 11 hours of video into 3 1/2 minutes brings the ice floe to life.

2016 – The above is a time lapse video of clouds streaming over Hammond Pond in Goshen one day before the ice finally gave out and ended the 2016 Meltdown contest.

2015“For nine of the ten years the Goshen Meltdown has been held, participants have been urged to pick a date in April.  For nine of the ten years the Goshen Meltdown has been held, the ice has melted and the block has sunk in..wait for it…April.  With that in mind, I issue the following challenge for the sake of the contest.  Over the past 10 years, an average of 1,572 tickets have been sold each year.  If more than 1,750 tickets are sold for the 2015 Meltdown, ice or no ice, I will jump into the lake on Sunday, April 26th just to prove to you frozen non-believers that the ice will be gone by May 1st.  After all, no sacrifice it too great to make for the success and profitability of the 2015 Meltdown.”

That was the challenge that was issued.  1,752 tickets were sold.  Steve and I went for a swim.

2015 – Here is a fish eye’s view of what the ice shelf looks like on Hammond Pond in Goshen on Sunday, March 15th, 2015.

2014 – I spent some time on the ice on Sunday with fellow Goshen firefighters Jake Lulek and Dan Daley.  We drilled a few holes in the ice with an auger so I could measure its depth.

2011 – Todd Haskell and I ventured out onto the ice with his auger to determine its thickness.