Winter Events

Boardwalk in Winter

The Weirs Beach boardwalk shows its winter appearance.
Photo taken on the first day of spring – March 21, 2013.

In 2021, the Meredith Rotary sponsors the 42nd annual Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby on February 13-14. Because of the Covid pandemic, the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club cancelled the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby, which had been scheduled for Feb 12-14, and would have been the 91st annual. The 12th annual New England Pond Hockey Classic is scheduled for Meredith on February 5-7. These events require cold weather, ice and snow, so hopefully, they will be held every year, despite global warming. Good ice conditions (8″-16″ thick) are essential to the fishing and hockey events, while plenty of snow is required for the sled dog derby.


Winter view of Weirs Bay from Cedar Lodge


4-6: Minimum thickness in inches of new clear ice needed to safely walk upon. Depends on person’s weight. According to the U.S. Army Cold Research & Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, NH, the “rule of thumb” is there should be a minimum of 6″ of hard ice before individual foot travel.

The lake ice does not freeze to a uniform thickness due to areas with current, like inlets, outlets and springs. Therefore, one has to be cautious and know the areas to avoid before venturing out on the ice. Ice-claw type equipment and knowledge of the proper procedure to follow in the event one falls in is useful, but the best safety precaution is to always travel with a buddy.

8–12: Minimum thickness in inches of ice needed to safely drive upon. Varies according to vehicle and driver weight. Range maxes out with light trucks. From lightest to heaviest: For ATVs (quads), 400-500 lbs is typical. Snowmobiles weigh 500-600 lbs.
Cars average around 4000 lbs. Class 1 trucks (light pickups) can weigh up to 6000 lbs.
According to the US Army Lab, the “rule of thumb” is 8″ – 10″ of hard ice for Snow Machine or All-Terrain Vehicle travel.

12–15: Minimum thickness in inches of ice needed to safely drive medium trucks.

2: Maximum number of ice fishing holes legally allowed per person

18: Minimum length in inches for a legal “keeper” – a fish that you don’t have to throw back in

5×6: Dimensions, in feet, of a typical bobhouse – an ice fishing shack

4/1: Latest date bobhouses must be removed from the ice or pay fine and lose fishing license for 1 year!


A bobhouse on Weir Bay. Notice the Spindle Point lighthouse in the distance. Click here to enlarge.


Racing down Laconia’s Main Street in the 1960’s (color photo) and in the 1930’s (black and white photo).

While racing began in 1929, 1936 was the first “World Championship” sled dog race. A pinback button is a common memento of the race. The race course is about 20 miles long. The 1968 winner, veteran musher Dick Moulton, covered it in a then record time of 1 hour, 8 minutes and 55 seconds.

Racing down Laconia’s Main Street in the 1930’s, past the local banks. Of the two banks in the photo, the Laconia Savings Bank existed until 2011, when it was renamed the Bank of New Hampshire. The Laconia Peoples National Bank was bought out by other banks until it eventually became a part of Citizen’s Bank. Below, the logo of the Laconia National Bank. Since 1865, the bank had been noted for “SafetyStrength, Security”. It is uncertain when “Peoples” was added to the name.