MELFORT — Snowmobilers from across the province will be traveling to Melfort for the 2020 Provincial Snowmobile Festival.
The two-day event serves as a social event for snowmobilers. This will be the third time the Melfort and District Trail Riders have hosted the event.
“It gives the snowmobile community a chance to get together and have some fun, just enjoy different regions of the province,” said Doug Armstrong, president of the Melfort and District Trail Riders.
The event will feature a dignitary ride, trail rides, entertainment, awards and a cabaret. The cabaret will be featuring the band “Kings and Renegades,” a country and rock band
The club is expecting to see 250 to 300 people in attendance, but has facility capacity for up to 400.
“We usually get a few from Manitoba, and a few from Alberta coming. It’s a good opportunity to come out and have some fun and see what the sport is about.”
The trail rides will be on over 260 kilometers of groomed trails connecting Melfort to Pontrilas, St. Brieux, Star City and the Wapiti Valley Ski Hill. In the south they join Naicam’s trails.
“We’re all linked together,” Armstrong said. “There is approximately 9,000 to 10,000 kilometers of groomed snowmobile trails in Saskatchewan so you can go anywhere you want to go on a groomed, safe trail.”
He said the reason the Melfort and Trail Riders wanted to host it again in Melfort is to earn funds for their club.
“What we get for trail funding for every year doesn’t always cover our cost because we own club snowmobiles, we have groomer units. It costs a lot of money to put this trail out, so what we got from license plate registrations doesn’t always cover that. This helps us maintain some emergency money in the bank.”
Armstrong said the sport is a big tourism draw for communities.
“When you climb on your snowmobile and go for the day you’re going to be spending anywhere from $100 to $200 – fuel, meals, if you’re going and staying somewhere else. It’s good for the economy.”
The festival will be held from Feb. 28 to 29.
Non-snowmobilers are invited to take part in the dance on Feb. 29, which has tickets that can be purchased separately. There is free in town shuttle service will also be available with event registration.
Registration can be filled out online at sasksnow.com/provincial-festival/. All snowmobiles must be licensed.