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Snodeo coming to Bear Lake

Event slated for Feb. 16-17

Snodeo will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16-17, at Bear Lake in Manawa.

The 11th annual event will feature slalom, oval, radar runs and Wisconsin Kitty Kat racing.

“There is no other event in Wisconsin that offers four different styles of racing,” said Dave Sarna. “Fortunately, the size of Bear Lake and the layout can offer this opportunity.”

Snodeo is a way for families to enjoy a day of fun either watching the various races or participating.

“Our event is really geared to the regular snowmobile enthusiast that wants to see what their machine can do,” said Sarna.

Cash prizes are awarded in the Lakecross pro classes in addition to first- through third-place trophies. Radar run participants earn plaques for top speed of the day in 22 classes.

The event will also pay tribute to veterans.

“Seven years ago, Dave thought it might be a nice tribute to the veterans to have a day where they can ride a snowmobile on the trails or around the lake,” said Deb Sarna. “Ken’s Sports out of Little Chute supplies all the snowmobile gear, and local guys donate their snowmobiles. Many of these young men are handicapped and are unable to drive their own sled but are still interested in being ‘chauffeured’ around the trail.”

Bear Lake offers them a free lunch on the Friday before the event. All veterans are invited to attend.

“It is one of the best ways to share military stories,” she said.

The Manawa Snodeo was conceived in 2007 by a group of racers and enthusiasts from the area who wanted to rekindle the snowmobile derbies held at Bear Lake and Manawa Lake between the years of 1968-1973.

The term “Snodeo” was considered as a play on words since Manawa is known nationwide for holding a July 4 PRCA sanctioned Rodeo since 1959.

The event has grown from 100 to more than 1,000 spectators over the years.

In 2017, an agreement was established between the Manawa Snodeo and Weyauwega’s Fire on Ice Racing Derby to partner in several business areas to offer better programs for area racers and fans.

“Now we are essentially hosting three consecutive weekends of various forms of professional winter motorsport racing in our immediate area; a claim which cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the country,” Sarna said.

Admission is $10 per day.

Proceeds from the event will be used for a scholarship for any Little Wolf High School student wishing to enroll in a technical college.

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