The snowmobile club during their family/club ride to their Crane Lake cabin last year.
Snowmobile drag races are the latest addition to the lineup at the Snow Fever festival in Cold Lake.
The Straightline Snowmobile Racing Associate is coming to Cold Lake on Feb. 16 in conjunction with the Snow Fever festival at Kinosoo Ridge.
SSRA will work with the Cold Lake Snowmobile Club riders to create a different activity for people to enjoy on Family Day weekend, said club director Chris Rourke.
“In general, the club wants to promote the sport. It’s just an idea to grow the sport and get some representation in the city, and have a different activity for family day Snow Fever, just broaden the demographic a little more.
“Try and grow it in the area as well as the tourism aspect. It’s a common interest between some of the guys in the club – try to promote the club and promote the town and we’re looking to carry this on into an annual event as well,” said Rourke.
Rourke says the club has a growing relationship with the SSRA, and that is helping bring the drag races back to Cold Lake where they haven’t been held for years.
The SSRA is hosting several events around the area, including their Western Canadian Championship last weekend in St. Paul, and other dates in Vermilion and Frog Lake.
Riders who want to participate need to complete registration from 8-10am on Feb. 16, providing they pass the safety requirements and the safety inspection, which can be found on the SSRA website.
The Cold Lake Snowmobile Club membership ranges from 30-100 depending on the year and the amount of snow.
Rourke says the club has a few trails throughout the area they like to snowmobile on.
“ We’ve got a really nice cabin on Crane Lake… we’ve got a trail that connects Cold Lake to Crane Lake. We’re a connecting club with the Trans Canada Trail. That’s part of the national trail network that comes through northern Saskatchewan. We meet up with Meadow Lake club and connect them to the Iron Horse Trail.
“We maintain the legal route through the city. We got an agreement with the city to maintain access through the city to the Iron Horse Trail. We’re part of the Iron Horse grooming, we keep that link open and we tie-in with five member clubs of the society, so we team up with Bonnyville, Elk Point, St. Paul, Smoky Lake, to try to keep that regional network open,” said Rourke.
One key focus though ahead of Snow Fever is to continue to host these races for years to come.
“We want to get those races back to the area…we’re a one-day event this year, we’re going to continue on an annual basis. I think they’re anticipating about 100 racers, I think that’s fairly average for their events and we could have more if there’s a lot more local interest,” said Rourke.
Rourke says the club hosts a few family rides through the season as well. The next one he anticipates will be in early March.
Rourke also mentioned he appreciate the relationship with the municipalities for the event and the Cold Lake Agricultural Society for partnering.
“We appreciate the continued relationship we’re getting from the M.D. of Bonnyville and the City of Cold Lake. They’ve both been very supportive of our causes. I think they’re starting to see the value in tourism and there’s a winter angle that isn’t explored very much,” said Rourke.
Snow Fever is happening Family Day weekend. Kinosoo Ridge is hosting DJ Shub and The Moontricks, as well as snowboarders Craig McMorris and Mark McMorris.