With the snow slowly disappearing from the area and none to be found in the forecast, the organizers of the annual Snofest event have been brainstorming to find ways to bring people out for their fundraising effort.
Posted on 2/13/16
By Melissa Anderson
“This is event is the lifeblood for the trail system,” Cody Schlittenhard, one of the organizers and member of the Mt. Carmel Moonlighters Snowmobile Club, said.
Snofest is the annual event held by the clubs along the Northeast Trail System for snowmobiling. Not only does this event benefit the surrounding community’s economies with the influx of snowmobilers, but the money raised by the event is used to maintain the Northeast Trail System.
“The money raised goes towards maintaining the trails by paying for things like fuel for the groomer,” Schlittenhard said.
There is normally 480 miles of groomed trails that ranges from ditch riding to the Moonlighters trail through the Pembina Gorge to the bush trail down through Edinburgh to Adams and Milton.
“This is the biggest trail system in the state and when there is snow – one of the best rides there is,” Schlittenhard stated.
The untimely and unfortunate lack of snow forces the sponsoring Mt. Carmel Moonlighters Snowmobile Club to find new ways to make the best of the event and be enjoyable for those who attend. But with no snow in site and what is here melting quickly, the draw for snowmobilers from other regions just isn’t there.
“The lack of snow will have a huge impact on the turnout,” Schlittenhard said.
To make up for the dismal lack of snow, this year the organizers have created the largest prize for the dice shaking in the history of the event with a $1,000 high and $1,000 low. As if that wasn’t enough, there will also be many door prizes and a live band, Kulland and the Gang, performing at the hub, At the Hop.
“We want to encourage people to come and shake,” Schlittenhard stated.
The shake off allows participants to shake the dice five times. People can buy as many tickets as they want and shake as many times as they want. The person with the highest and lowest combined number will each win $1,000.
The shaking ends at about 5 p.m. The transition then takes place with Kulland and the Gang starting at 9 p.m.
Schlittenhard stressed that the Snofest events purpose beyond raising funds to maintain the Northeast Trail is to benefit the communities along the trail by means of giving a boost to bars, gas stations, accommodations and other businesses. The event’s goal of having snowmobilers from other regions come to the area to experience the trails system and what the communities have to offer is a driving force in the decision making process for the event.
“It gets people here to see our nice trails that we unfortunately don’t have,” Schlittenhard stated, “The no snow thing really throws a monkey wrench into this.”
The Northeast District snowmobile clubs along with the Moonlighters are the primary driving force for the event. Besides Langdon, the communities of Walhalla, Cavalier, Mountain, Milton, Osnabrock, Edinburg, Adams, Edmore, and Nekoma, are all stops for Snofest and are connected on the Northeast Trail.
The Mt. Carmel Moonlighters are leading this year’s Snofest and the Nekoma Trailblazers are assisting. Last year the hub was Edinburg.
The lack of snow not only this year but the previous years disappointing snow accumulation has not put any thoughts of ending the Snofest. Over the past three to five years numbers have been down due to lack of snow.
“We still encourage everyone to get out and shake and come out and enjoy the band,” Schlittenhard said.
The organizers realize that the majority of the people who attend this year probably won’t be snowmobilers as nobody will be able to ride. To make sure that those who attend are able to enjoy the event but also stay safe, the Moonlighters have come up with a plan.
“Our plan, and we will know for sure by Snofest, is to have one or two party buses take people around to local businesses and bars to help drum up business for them,” Schlittenhard stated.
At The Hop is the hub and that is where the shaking occurs. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at many locations around town or the day of At The Hop.
The Moonlighters snowmobile club will have stickers and sweatshirts for sale during shaking.
The door prizes will all be located At the Hop. Organizers are expecting around 30 to 40 door prizes for people to win which includes gift cards, Langdon Bucks, various sweatshirts and jackets, and men’s gifts.
“On behalf of the Moonlighters, thank you to At the Hop, individuals and businesses who have donated door prizes and money,” Schlittenhard stated.
Go to the Mt. Carmel Moonlighters Facebook page for more information, updates, and contact information.