RAPID RIVER - This weekend there may be more snowmobiles than cars along Main Street in Rapid River. The Rapid River Relic Riders will host their annual ride, snowmobile show, and swap meet.
The two-day tribute to snowmobiling will begin Friday with the 6th Annual Rapid River Relic Ride. Riders will depart from Quality Plumbing & Heating in Rapid River at noon. Registration for the ride will begin at 9 a.m., and all riders are asked to bring a non-perishable food item or cash donation for local food pantries.
"We normally would go across the bay," said David Shope, president of the Rapid River Relic Riders, adding the ride would probably take an alternate route along trailhead 2 to Kipling before returning for a bonfire around 4:30 p.m.
Many snowmobilers from throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota turned out for last year’s Rapid River Relic Riders Snowmobile Show and Swap. (Daily Press photo by Jenny Lancour)
The 7th Annual Rapid River Relic Riders Snowmobile Show and Swap will take place Saturday. Around 150 sleds are expected for the show, which will feature the Ski Doo.
"They (Ski Doos) get parked in front since they're the featured sled," said Shope.
Some sleds will be parked inside the Lions Club building where they can be enjoyed by the elderly or anyone who wants to escape the cold. Lions Club members will also be serving a breakfast and other food items throughout the day.
Registration for the snowmobiles will be held between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Lions Club building. The cost for showing sleds is $2, regardless of the number of sleds registered.
"You can bring in 20 sleds and it still only costs $2," said Shope.
All participants who show sleds are entered to win a custom knife featuring the Relic Rider logo from Rapid River Knife Works.
Trophies will be awarded at 3:30 p.m. Awards include the Troy Lee Nieuwenkamp Memorial Trophy for the sled chosen by the Nieuwenkamp family, the Club's Choice Award, Participants' Choice Award, and a trophy for the sled from the furthest distance. A plaque will also be given for the Most Enthusiastic Award.
"That goes to someone who puts their heart and soul into these snowmobiles," said Shope.
The swap meet will take place during the show. Registration for swap sites is $10.
"If (you) have any old snowmobiles, parts, helmets, etc., etc. ... that's were you'll sell it. If you don't sell it that day you're asking too much," said Shope.
Following the awards ceremony, various prizes will be raffled off including a gun cabinet, an autographed Green Bay Packers football, an overnight stay at the Island Resort and Casino, and the grand prize - an all-original 1972 Ski Doo Olympic.
Money raised by the event will be distributed to local schools in the form of scholarships. Rapid River Public Schools will receive $1,000 in scholarship funds. Other schools will receive smaller, $500 scholarship donations. Big Bay de Noc, Mid-Peninsula, and Bay Middle College have all received money in the past.
"We try to make it so $500 or $250 goes for a boy and $500 or $250 goes for a girl," said Shope.