Goodbye winter! The ice is out (finally) and summer is on its way (finally)

White Iron Beach Resort

The news arrived Tuesday and it was welcome: finally, Shagawa Lake was open.
But the winner of the Ely Echo’s annual Ice Out contest wasn’t the only one happy.
Those planning to wet a line this weekend or counting on the arrival of visiting anglers were joined by others with smiles on their faces.
After a long, cold and snow-filled winter, and an April that had a never-ending combination of more cold, and more snow, the open waters were more than just a sign that spring hard arrived.
It was much more symbolic than that.
We’d like to think it was a sign of better things to come.
Winter seemed to hang on for dear life in the Ely area, and even the most optimistic among us were beaten down in April.
Even those who love winter have to admit that enough was enough.
An open Shagawa Lake, and the sunny skies and warm temperatures that have finally arrived in Ely, are the portent of things to come.
Slowly but surely, Ely is coming alive again.
Projects delayed by the weather are beginning.
Our summer residents are slowly arriving and soon there will be an onslaught of summer visitors, more vibrant streets and more activity.
Say what you will about winter tourism and the efforts to promote the so-called shoulder seasons. They’re important, vitally so.
But today, 20, 40 and 60 years in the past and probably long into the future, it’s the summer that makes Ely hum.
Cash registers ring, restaurants fill, resorts welcome their guests and for one weekend in July the town overflows during the Blueberry/Art Festival.
We shouldn’t and can’t lose sight of summer’s impact in the Ely area.
The ice is out. Summer is on the way. Winter is finally in the rear view mirror.
Let’s enjoy it.