Crystal Lake derby canceled due to Mother Nature's 'strange attitude'

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After delaying the Crystal Lake Ice Fishing Derby in Gray for a month due to lack of ice, organizers have decided to cancel all events associated with the Feb. 13 derby, including the adult and kids’ derbies and a polar plunge.

According to a message posted Monday on the event’s Facebook page, poor weather conditions and lack of ice on Crystal Lake doomed the derby’s chances of being held. The derby’s main beneficiaries are Gray-New Gloucester schools and the USO. Sponsors included Dag’s Bait Shop in Auburn, WMTW, Poland Spring and L.L. Bean.

“We are sorry to inform everyone but in the best interest in public safety this year’s ice fishing derby has been canceled,” the Facebook post stated. “Mother Nature is having a strange attitude this year. We would like to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers, and participants who all help make this event possible every year. If all goes well we will see you in 2017.”

The derby was also delayed from its usual late January time slot last year due to lack of ice but was held in February as cold temperatures eventually allowed the ice to set. This year, late January and early February temps in the 40s have made any chance of ice setting up on Crystal Lake more difficult.

Organizers said they’re still working on arrangements for those who had purchased tickets prior this week’s announcement. Organizers will post another Facebook message in coming days regarding refunds. Ticket holders with additional questions can call 650-3904 for more information.

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