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Sno-Barons prepare for the snowmobile season kickoff

Haydays, the annual kickoff to the snowmobile season, is ready for another solid event this weekend in North Branch, Minn., after coming off a stellar 2014.

“Last year was our best year ever! Great crowds, good moods and fabulous feedback! There was a bit of a delay with the end of the races on Sunday, which was unfortunate, but we have a new organization running the races this year and a new schedule, so hopefully that will not happen again,” said Andi Johnson, dealer coordinator for Haydays and a member of the Sno-Barons Snowmobile Club, which organizes the event.

This year the Haydays Grass Drags, on which the event was built, will be run by the National Hot Sled Racing Alliance (NHSRA).

“Both days start out with the littlest racers on Kitty Cats and 120s. The qualifying runs and heats go on the drag track all Saturday — with times alternating with the main events at the expo track, so fans can go back and forth to catch the action at both tracks. Sunday will have shootouts and finals on the drag track,” Johnson explained.

Haydays attendees watch the Grass Drags at the 2014 event in North Branch, Minn. Photo by John Prusak, Snow Goer

Haydays attendees watch the Grass Drags at the 2014 event in North Branch, Minn. Photo by John Prusak, Snow Goer

Johnson said those who have heard about the new race format are already talking about it going into the Sept. 12-13 event. Sno-Barons president Meshell Gorsegner said attendees are also excited about the number of pro racers who will be participating in the Mystik Lubricants Terracross Championship Levi LaVellee Invitational.

But the improvements for this year’s Haydays don’t stop at the racetracks, Johnson explained.

“Around the grounds, we've improved a few areas — paved a few roads, built a permanent structure for the main beer garden (nearest to the Expo track) and even built a permanent building for our official Sno-Barons merchandise,” she said. “And one new item is sure to be of interest to all the folks that spend the weekend swapping at Haydays: showers! There will be a mobile shower facility near the Tin Roof Saloon, where you can take a shower for $6, which includes a towel!”

With these improvements, Gorsegner said she’s expecting a lot of snowmobile and powersports enthusiasts to show up. And the entire club and snowmobile industry is hoping the snow will follow.

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