- The 51st annual World Championship Snowmobile Derby gets underway later this week. Racing in Eagle River runs Thursday through Sunday.
For many years, the Torch Light Parade was a unique snowmobile ride started in downtown Eagle River. The riders would travel to the Eagle River Sports Arena.
After a 30 year absence, it's back. The tour is put on by the Sno-Eagles snowmobile club and the Eagle River Lions club.
Officially it's not part of the Derby.
However, it's a great tradition from the weekend making a return.
As the snowmobiles changed, they damaged city streets. That's why it was stopped in the mid 80s.
The trail was lit with torches or candles years ago.
Now they'll have glow sticks. The riders will have them too. Folks are excited to have the ride back.
"As the snowmobiles got more modern, we just couldn't get the approval to do it," Richard Decker - the Marketing Director at Eagle River Derby Track explains. "Now you can snowmobile in downtown Eagle River. Not on all of the streets but some of them. It made a really big difference. I think it will be interesting for the public to watch and anyone who wants to join in and ride."
"Years ago we (lit the trail) with candles," Jim Ayers of the Sno-Eagles and Lions club adds. "That was a problem keeping them lit. Now we have some new products. Hopefully it will make it really nice. If it does, we'll do it again next year I think."
The Torch Light Parade begins at 6pm on Saturday. The public is invited to take part in the ride. It starts across from Eagle River Derby track.
Story By: Joe Dufek