LINCOLNVILLE — What is a Mainer to do when it is 15 degrees out with a windchill near zero after being stuck inside with cabin fever from an already too long winter and an emotionally draining, life-altering, nearly-year-long pandemic?

Fire up the lawn mower and drive it onto a frozen body of water to race other stir-crazy people, of course.

In a scenario that probably had some saying, “Only in Maine” and “You do not see this every day,” people gathered on Norton Pond Saturday afternoon to participate in or watch lawn mower racing.

With typical Maine outdoor activities taking place all-around the frozen surface, from cross-country skiing to skating, from ice fishing to children playing in the snow, there was an oval in the pond’s ice so adults could start their engines and drive as fast as possible around and around until they saw the waving of the coveted checkered flag.

Dan Littlefield warms up before the lawn mower races Saturday on Norton Pond in Lincolnville. Ken Waltz/VillageSoup

What on the surface may sound a bit bizarre because, well, it is, was a late-January take on the summertime lawn mower races held at country fairs, businesses and homes in area counties.

Thunder Valley Lawn Mower Drag Races organized Saturday’s event, just off the shore of Breezemere Park and Route 52/Norton Pond Road, which saw a handful of drivers bring their souped-up, former grass-cutting machines to slice their way around the ice.

The group has held races during the summer and fall at the Maine Blueberry Festival/Union Fair, as well as Threshers Brewing Co. in Searsmont, among other places.

Aaron Boetsch of Thunder Valley said the machines must have been lawn mowers and cut grass at some point. From there, the drivers, of course, added special touches to soup-up their rides.

Saturday’s event was a was a late-January take on summertime lawn mower races. Ken Waltz/VillageSoup

The group planned the event and got the necessary permits to “get people outside and break up the boredom,” Boetsch said.

That was the idea: have some icy fun in the sun and bring cutting edge entertainment to the daily lives’ of those living through a Maine winter and seemingly never-ending pandemic.

As one spectator said, “No wonder my friends in New York City call me a redneck. But, I guarantee, if they were here, they would love this.”


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