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Snodeo at Bear Lake

Two days of racing on the ice

By Holly Neumann

The 12th annual Snodeo will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-16, at Bear Lake Resort, located on State Highway 22/110 south of Manawa.

The event features lakecross, bikes, quads, UTVs and lawnmowers, radar runs, grudge racing and Wisconsin Kitty Kat Racing.
Four tracks will run simultaneously.

The event will kick off on noon Friday, Feb. 15 with a luncheon and speaker and a Ride with Vets.

“Seven years ago Dave [Sarna] 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, who helps organize the event. “Ken’s Sports out of Little Chute supplies all the snowmobile gear and local guys donate their sleds. Many of these men may be handicapped and are unable to drive their own sled but are still interested in being chauffeured around the trail.”

Bear Lake offers a free luncheon and all veterans are invited to attend.

“It is one of the best ways to share military camaraderie,” said Sarna. “If the trails are open there will be a trail ride throughout the Manawa area stopping at various bars.”

Race Day will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16.

Lakecross is 1.5 mile slalom style racing, usually running three laps and the final is five laps.”

The Radar Runs is a 660-foot straight racing strip where participants are racing against themselves trying to reach the top speed in each of the classes they enter.

A digital sign at the end of the track that tells the racer their speed. Racers will pay $20 for three runs.

Racers will also have the option of a Grudge Race.

“This type of racing is done on the Radar Runs,” said Sarna. “Two racers make a decision to go head-to-head. Whoever gets to the end first is the winner.”

Bikes and Quads will perform on a one-third mile oval track.

Even the kids can get involved with the Kitty Kat races.

The Wisconsin Kids Snowmobile Racing Series and Wisconsin Kitty Cat Racing will also take part.

“Kids that start here are 5-6 years old and transition into adult racing,” Sarna said.

This year for the first time, Manawa Snodeo will be hosting the Freshour Attachments Midwest Mower Winternationals.

“Were expecting 100-plus mowers coming from as far as Florida and Canada,” said Willie Freshour. “We have such a positive response from the mower racing community across the country and are very excited to hold a great winter event for these competitors.”

There will be 10 classes of racing, ranging from speeds of 22 mph to 60 mph.

Snodeo will also include the Twin County Vintage Snowmobile Show, with vintage sleds from 1985 and older. Trophies will be awarded for Best of Show.

“For something that was brought up at the dinner table in our home, to what it has grown to become a huge attraction for both racers and spectators,” said Sarna. “We have done this through cooperation, diligence and partnering with many civic groups, businesses and organizations in the area. We also strive to make it affordable for both spectators and racers.”

She went on to say that this is a family friendly event.

“Everyone in the family can enjoy the races,” said Sarna. “We even offer anyone that has never been on a sled a chance to ride one.”

There will also be food, raffles and a DJ.

The day will conclude with fireworks, lawnmower racing under the lights and an awards ceremony for the top winners of the day and will include the presentation of the Snowmobile Ambassador of the Year, Sponsor of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

Admission is $10 per person, ages 12 and under are free.

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