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Blasts from the past

Antique snowmobiles gather for a good cause in Copper Harbor

February 11, 2011
By Kelly Fosness -

COPPER HARBOR - Sno-Bugs and Hus-Skis, start your engines.

The Antique Snowmobile Run-for-Fun event is returning Feb. 18 through 20 in Copper Harbor for the sixth consecutive year.

"Every year it gets bigger and better," event co-organizer Carolyn Stevens said. "It's gotten to the point where people are purchasing machines for the ride, and, on top of the local interest, we get people from all over - Wisconsin, downstate, Illinois and Indiana."

Article Photos

Shown is a 1968 Polaris Super Voyager, which earned the title for best restored during last year's Antique Snowmobile Run-for-Fun event in Copper Harbor. This year's event gets underway Feb. 18 and weekend-long festivities include scheduled rides for all old and new snowmobiles, a bonfire in Grant Township Park, a sled display and award ceremony. (DMG photo by Kelly Fosness)

Weekend festivities get underway Friday with a late afternoon ride departing from The Mariner North around 3 p.m. to the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge for hors d'oeuvres, refreshments and music performed by Raven Congress from 7 to 9 p.m. A bonfire in the Grant Township Park will follow at 9 p.m.

Sled registration will be held inside the Mariner from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, however, participants can register ahead of time Friday also. Registration is $10 per sled with all proceeds benefitting the "No Kids Without a Christmas" fund, which is spearheaded by Keweenaw County Sheriff Ron Lahti.

"We like to keep the benefits local," Stevens said. "Last year we raised slightly over $1,000 and we're hoping to top that this year."

Sled registrants will automatically be entered in drawings for door prizes, including a new 2600 PSI pressure washer and a 1978 Arctic Cat Jag 2000, 2 cycle, 275cc snowmobile.

Spectators, even if they aren't registering a sled, are welcome to pay the $10 fee to enter their name in the door prize drawing, Stevens said.

A sled showing will take place in the Grant Township Park until noon and ballots will be available for spectators to vote in categories, including: best dressed (costume), best original, best restored, people's choice and tow strap award.

"That will go to the biggest piece of crap or whatever one has to get towed back in," trophy designer Scott Meneguzzo said.

Trophies will be awarded to sled registrants who place in each category.

This year, Meneguzzo said, he and his wife designed the trophies to resemble a bogie wheel of a snowmobile.

Clothing items will be available for purchase with proceeds going to "No Kids Without a Christmas."

"A lot of area businesses have donated money and prizes which we are going to be giving away throughout the weekend," co-organizer Wendell Canfield said.

Last year, he said they had about 168 sleds on display, and this year he's expecting an additional 40 to 60 more.

"You're going to see all the colors of the rainbow in the parking lot," he said. "The new ones look like a space shuttle (compared to the antiques)."

Following the sled display and voting is the Run-for-Fun ride at noon, which will depart from the Mariner North lot.

"We go in several different directions; it really depends on the weather," Canfield said. "If it's bad we'll go into the bush to get out of the wind but if it's good we'll hang near the lake."

A mid-afternoon cookout and Stride for Pride radar run will be held after the ride, and from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., live music by The Wingnuts, and an award ceremony at the Mariner North will conclude the evening.

Closing the weekend festivities is the mid-morning ride to Brockway Mountain to "relax and reflect" Sunday.

Canfield, who lives in Rhinelander, Wis., said he's bringing 11 antique sleds to display. A 1963 Fox Trac, 1969 Polaris Colt with a rotary engine and a 1969 Diablo Rouge are just a few of his machines spectators will see.

Meneguzzo said he's displaying a 1969 Sno Bug, which he and his wife recently restored.

Stevens, of Allouez, said she's grateful for all the support they receive each year for the event.

"The whole town of Copper Harbor has been so forthcoming with support, which is great," she said. "Peggy and Don Kauppi have been wonderful supporters of this, too."

Like every year, Canfield said the weekend is all about having fun.

"There's something for everyone to do," he said. "Everyone has a really good time."

Sponsoring the event is Dan's Auto Sales & Recreation, Calumet Machine, The Mariner North, Peterlin Distributing, and Superior Block.

Stevens said M&M Powersports of Hancock donated a 2010 Arctic Cat ATV with tracks for grooming the trails for their weekend rides.

Additionally, she said several businesses in Hancock, Houghton and Calumet donated items for drawings which will be held throughout the weekend.

For more information, call Canfield at 369-0627 or Stevens at 369-1103.



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