Many view classic snowmobiles at show

The ninth annual Rogers City Antique and Vintage Snowmobile Show was held over the weekend and all events went well. A ride at the 208 Hunting Camp just east of Rogers City kicked off the event Friday afternoon. Forty-five snowmobilers participated in the ride, a 6-mile loop winding through the woods on private land.

“Many of the participants who had more than one sled had them all out on the trail system at one time. Favorable weather with temperatures in the low to mid 40s had them riding the trail often. There was also a camp fire and hot dog roast for the riders as they came in for a break, with a chance to talk about their sleds old and new,” said organizer Dan Derry.

Later that evening the event moved to town as they gathered at the Water’s Edge Restaurant and Lounge. Three Nintendo Wii entertainment centers were set up with projectors for the children to play as they raced in Mario Kart or Skidoo Challenge. As time got later, the Wiis were put away and a black-light party featuring live entertainment by Bobbing for Piranhas entertained the adults until midnight.

Saturday it was time for the show and swap meet in the parking lot at the Water’s Edge. “Once again the weather was great with the temperatures in the mid 40s for the show. We had 150 sleds on display and a groomed trail around the restaurant and motel for the participants to take a ride on their sled if they wished,” said Derry.

“This year was one of the best displays of sleds we have had in the running of this show with the quality and detail put into the sleds,” said Derry.

This year’s show featured the Ski Kat, made in Michigan that had been produced right in Rogers City in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Larry Heidrich started the founding company, Sport King, in Farmington. According to his son, he moved production up to Rogers City around 1969.

Sport King produced the Ski Kat snowmobile along with a fat tire bike, a 5hp and 7hp trike. “They think that 900 to 950 of the snowmobiles were produced while in business, before closing its doors,” said Derry.

An auction was held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday as the committee auctioned off six snowmobiles that were donated to them. All proceeds from the auction were given to the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway.

“The lot was never empty as spectators and displayers talked throughout the day about the sleds,” said Derry.

Drawings for 50/50s were held at various times throughout the day as well as a Chinese raffle inside. Local merchants, as well as participants donated to the raffle. A live auction was also held inside the building for a basket full of fresh homemade breads and goodies.

DAVE ERICKSON posed with a recently restored sled that has lots of history to Rogers City and Erickson. Erickson, along with other locals Dennis Bannasch and George Budnick, raced the 1970 Rupp for many years. Antique and Vintage show organizer Dan Derry recently restored the sled and had it on display this weekend inside the Water’s Edge. (Courtesy Photo)

Awards were handed out just before dinner with Dan Hetherington of Linwood taking home the etched trophy for best Ski Kat. Joe Francis of Manistique took home the trophy for best of show with his Alouette Super Blue sled.

Wes Bruning of Hawks took home the best original antique award for his 1966 Polaris Super Pacer. Larry Salo of Allegan won the best restored antique award with his 1964 Polaris K-70 D.

Tim Havercroft won the best original vintage for his 1973 SnoJet StarJet and Mike Stolinski of Alpena had the best restored vintage, his 1969 Homelite Forester.

Dinner followed the awards with about 150 dinners being served. Dinner featured fresh whitefish, chicken and all the trimmings.

“I don’t think anyone left hungry. After dinner, the auction continued as all the show banners found new homes to be displayed,” said Derry.

The after-dinner party kicked off at 9 p.m. and again featured Bobbing for Piranahs. Next year’s show is scheduled for March 7-8 with the Boa Ski as the featured sled.