RANGELEY — Despite the cancellation of highly anticipated snowmobile races, there was still fun to be had as people came out Thursday, Friday and Saturday to support the local snowmobile club’s efforts to keep the trails ready for riding around the town.

Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club maintains approximately 180 miles of trails, according to club treasurer Ashley Quimby. The three-day 40th annual Snodeo event helps raise funds for the club to groom trails for locals and visitors to enjoy.

In previous years, Tame the Track Tour Snowmobile Races used to hold the vintage and cross country sled races, but the organization went defunct Jan. 1. Harrison Friendly Riders were supposed to hold the radar runs at Bald Mountain Camps on the ice, but there just wasn’t enough ice, said Quimby. “We’re all about safe and we want it to be a fun event with no injuries or anything like that.”

Bald Mountain Camp did host Casino Night Thursday which featured dice games and more, including live music, food and a bar. That event alone drew many and helped raise a significant amount of money for the club, said board member John Merriman.

Spiderman comes to a stop Saturday during the annual Snodeo’s cardboard box sled races in Rangeley. Joe Charpentier/Sun Journal

The club hosted a poker run throughout the day Friday, bringing people into businesses around town. Oquossoc Marine and Boss Power Equipment registered poker cards in the morning and participating businesses would stamp everyone’s cards. The poker run’s finish party was held at the club’s groomer barn where participants handed their cards in to see who had the best hand.

“We had a bonfire, marshmallows, pizzas, hot chocolate and all that fun stuff,” said Quimby. “We raised a significant amount of money from people just donating to us. Every event we do, it always amazes me how much our members are willing to give to us.”


Funds raised by Snodeo events go to grooming around 180 miles of trails, said Merriman. The club told members all proceeds would go to diesel fuel alone, due to the costs of just keeping groomers moving on the trails.

“Next year we’re going to try and branch out and help the other small clubs in our area,” said Merriman. “That way when people come into Rangeley, there’s somewhere to go besides Rangeley.”

The club hosted its second annual Cardboard Box Races at Mingo Springs Golf Course on Saturday morning, hoping to bring kids out for some fun competition. Quimby said there were only three participants last year, but the club was happy to see those numbers double this year.

“It’s pretty cool to see kids get their sleds all decorated. It’s just a fun thing that helps us bring it back to a more family event for Snodeo. Get some kids stuff involved.”

Fireworks and a Mardis Gras-themed parade were also scheduled for Saturday night to wrap up the festivities.

Merriman and Quimby said there will definitely be racing next year, but a rebranding might be in order.

“I think next year we’re going to call it ‘Winter Carnival’ to get more people in town participating,” said Merriman. “Right now, everybody seems to be interested in it. It’s going back to a family thing.”

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