August 13, 2007 – The snowmobiling version of Sturgis? Organizers hope so

With the demise of the long-running Red Light Snowmobile Rally in Hurley, Wis., the organizer of a new snowmobile event hopes people will hop across the border to Ironwood, Mich., for a new festival.
The Western Upper Peninsula Convention and Visitors Bureau and other groups are planning the community’s first Sled Fest 2008, scheduled for Jan. 4-13.
The Red Light Rally, which was typically scheduled in early December, ran into low-snow problems the last few years of its existence. This area is popular with snowmobilers for its lake-effect snow.
The event, based primarily around snowmobiles and snowmobile recreation, will include races, rides and shows. Events will take place in Ironwood and surrounding communities.
DeeGee Pawlicki, of the convention and visitor’s bureau and a main organizer, told the Ironwood Daily Globe, “We want to be on the road to becoming what Sturgis is to motorcycling.”
Pawlicki also told the newspaper that the organizing group is working to get snowmobile manufacturers to have a presence at the event.
The United States Snowmobile Association will hold its season-opening oval racing event in Ironwood to kick off the 10-day celebration.
To close the event, a parade of vintage snowmobiles will start a trek to Eagle River, Wis., for the World Championship Snowmobile Derby.
And yes, some events might cross back over the border to Hurley — poker runs are planned to start in the Wisconsin town. psb

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