The first barge made it through the ice on Lake Pepin Tuesday evening.
The tow, Michael Poindexter, pushed its full barge as it broke through the ice at the southern tip of the lake.
According to the Army Corps of Engineers, pushing through the lake takes roughly two to three hours.
But for many watching this is an annual tradition.
In fact it drew a sizable crowd as people pulled up to Camp Lacupolis to take in the experience.
For some, this signals the start of spring.
"You know, it's just an amazing thing to watch this year after year as they chug up and and plow through that ice," one longtime viewer, said."You know it's really a fun event to watch and be around."
"The river is open as soon as this barge passes," another viewer who saw it for the first time, said.
"The first barges, its about time they come through, beautiful its nice," another longtime viewer, said.
Shortly after the first barge, the second one was hot on it's tail.
Now that the ice is broken up on the lake, more private boats are expected to make their way to the lake.