By Jeff Wagner

EXCELSIOR, Minn. (WCCO) — Despite an afternoon storm, much of Minnesota and Western Wisconsin enjoyed a slice of summer as temperatures soared around the 80s.

An ice-out was finally declared on Lake Minnetonka Saturday. May 5 means it ties the record for latest ice-out, which was set in 1857.

“It feels amazing to be out here with friends on this beautiful, sunny day,” said Sabina Badola. “Just having a couple drinks, some good laughs.”

No ice in the water means more in the drinks and more customers in the seats at Maynards Restaurant in Excelsior.

“It’s been a tough winter in that it just never ended,” said manager Beth Maloney.

Manager Beth Maloney welcomes the summer-like weather since it brings in summer-like business, which isn’t the only thing Maynards was lacking during the cold and snowy April.

“People weren’t thinking, ‘Let’s go get a job on the lake.’ So it’s been slow not only with the customers coming out but also employment,” said Maloney. As the weather warms up and stays that way, she anticipates more people filling out job applications.

Just off the patio, kayakers made their way into Excelsior Bay sharing the water with a few boats not long after the ice out was declared.

“Everyone is just so happy to be here and enjoy the sun,” said Maloney.

“We were all getting really antsy over in the Lake Minnetonka area for the ice to go out so just feels honestly like a relief that summer has finally started,” added Badola, who was enjoying drinks with friends.

The sun was fun while it lasted as Mother Nature can change things in a flash.

Stormy skies loomed by late after afternoon, creating choppy conditions on Lake Minnetonka. Many boaters who hit the water early found themselves calling it a day early as well.

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