Photo credit: SpeedShot Photography
Snowmobile race fans will be flocking to Eagle River this weekend as the 58th World Championship Snowmobile Derby makes its mark. This is Eagle River’s most popular annual event, and the area greets hundreds of racers and thousands of spectators to the World Championship Snowmobile Complex (WCDC).
If you have never been to a race, it’s quite the experience. This is much more than a race. It is a celebration of snowmobiling, and there is a carnival-like feeling in the air.
Fans dress in their finest snowmobile gear, including those sporting elaborate fur hats. Inside the Expo Center, there is a bar that serves food as well as beverages. Stop at the Gift Garage for a great souvenir. Those looking for all things snowmobile are delighted by the array of goods displayed at the vendor booths.
Outside there are food booths and on the north side of the spectator areas, fans sit on top of their motor homes, providing a birds-eye view of the racing action.
All the fun begins this Thursday, Jan.14, and runs through Sunday, Jan. 17. The weekend culminates with the 2021 World Snowmobile Championship final races.
Thursday and Friday there are practice runs and time trials during the day. Paid Practice runs are on Thursday from noon until 3:00 p.m. On Friday, time trials begin at 10:00 a.m.
Then at 6:00 p.m., Friday Night Thunder launches this year’s Derby on the oval track with pre-race ceremonies. As part of this year’s opening ceremony, former Derby Champion, Mike Trapp, celebrates 50 years of his acclaimed historic victory from 1971. Then at 6:30 p.m., the roar returns to the track, featuring three prestigious time trials and 14 race classes.
Saturday, the gates open at 8:00 a.m., and races start at 9:00 a.m. A fast and furious day of racing features more than three dozen races on the oval track.
Race action begins on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. finishing with two spectacular race finals. The legendary 25-lap 58th World Championship Snowmobile Derby final is at 2:00 p.m. For its first time, the 100-Lap World Championship Pro Enduro final makes its debut at 3:30 p.m.
Every evening with the end of each day’s racing, the bar, Gift Garage, and food concessions will be open to the fans.
Tickets are available at the gate and are $25 each day for Friday through Sunday or purchase a Super ticket for all three days for $70. If you are unable to be there in person, you can watch the excitement on FloRacing’s website. To view, a paid membership is required that can be purchased on the website.
To learn more about the history of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby, visit the WCDC website or for current information see their Snowmobile Derby Facebook page. For any questions, please call (715) 479-4424.
It looks like mild temperatures for the area this weekend and even a forecast for some measurable snow!