The community hall opened its doors at 8 a.m. on Feb. 6 to start off the Kelvington Trailblazers snowmobile spectacular. It was the 30th annual rally, and it commenced with a pancake breakfast whose aroma wafted out of the building to greet sledders from far and wide.
By 9.30, registered sleds were leaving for the trails, with more to follow. All were headed out on groomed trails that volunteers had worked hard to provide; trails that would not disintegrate in the sunny 3C day it turned out to be. A total of 221 riders registered to take the 40-, 60-, 80- or 100-mile trails that have been developed from old logging and trapping trails into trails with warm-up shacks and refreshment along the way. Over the last 30 years, an average of 251 riders have attended this rally, through years of nearly no snow to blinding blizzards and temperatures of -30C or lower.
At 6 p.m. and back at the hall, the buildup to the prize draw for the 2016 Polaris 600 Indy sled began with the first batch of the 50 bucket draws. Donations from sponsors had been overwhelmingly generous, filling an entire wall with prizes ranging from tuques to bunny hugs, tools and jumper cables to helmets and jackets, plus a very nice-looking John Deere bicycle.
By 8 p.m. the bucket draws had come to an end and there was palpable excitement in the air as the big red drum was hauled onto the stage for the one-ticket, one-prize draw for the “big one.” The expression of bewilderment and disbelief on the face of Yvonne Haas turned into a beaming smile of joy as the congratulatory applause for her big win grew.
Congratulations to the Kelvington Trailblazers for 30 years of stellar sledding support and activity.
We wish you another 30!
By Andy Labdon