Pat Shingleton for Monday, May 13, 2013 Pat Shingleton for Monday, May 13, 2013 Advocate story July 05, 2013 Comments To watch ice melt, go to http://www.nenanaakiceclassic.com/. The Nenana Ice Classic began in 1917 by bridge builders crossing the Tanana River near Fairbanks, Alaska. As noted in a previous column, when the river froze, work stopped and speculation as to an ice break began the wagering. Cash prizes are awarded to those who could guess the exact minute the ice breaks. Last year, it occurred at 4:24 p.m. May 4. The earliest date for the meltdown was April 1, 2004. A special tripod contraption determines the winner. Made of wooden logs, a wire attached to the top is strung to a clock onshore. The clock stops when the melting ice shifts the tripod 100 feet. The latest melt date was May 20, 1964. A $2.50 ticket wins $300,000. Fastcast: Beautiful.