Snowmobile enthusiasts ‘ride in’ for special weekend

The temperature may be cooling down the excitement is heating up for the thousands of people who are looking forward to attending the Waconia 2013 Ride In event that will be held at Lake Waconia Regional Park starting Friday, Jan. 25 and continuing through Saturday, Jan. 26 and Sunday, Jan. 27.
The annual event, which is hosted by Midwest Vintage Snowmobile Shows (MVSS), is celebrating in its 23rd year in 2013. The Ride In is billed as “the world’s largest vintage and antique snowmobile event” and features a snowmobile show, a huge swap meet, drag races, trail ride, oval races, a loud snowmobile contest, silent auction, a banquet and much more. Scorpion and Brut are the featured sleds at this year’s Ride In. Scorpion produced sleds for 14 years in Crosby, Minn. Brut is a sled that was at one point produced at Scorpion’s factory.
Organizers are looking forward to the Waconia 2013 Ride In weekend.
“There’s a lot going on again this year. It’s going to be busy!” said Sue Goede of MVSS, who noted that more than 6,000 people are expected to attend. “People are coming from all over the United States. I talked to a guy from Alaska the other day who’s coming down. It should be a great event.”
Valdi Stefanson, president of the Antique Snowmobile Club of America and secretary and webmaster for the Waconia Ride-In Committee, echoed Goede’s sentiments.
“We’re expecting a big crowd,” he said, noting that people will be able to park on the lake and be close to the action. “It’s going to be a good event.”
It costs $15 for a Friday/Saturday admission button and $10 for a Sunday admission button, which are available at the gate when one arrives at the Ride In.
The fun begins on Friday when people will be allowed to enter the grounds (with the Friday/Saturday admission button) from noon until dusk to park their trailer. Vendors will also be allowed to set up at this time. On Friday night, the traditional Ice Breaker Party will be held at the Lake Waconia Event Center (the ballroom) from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission to the party is free with a Friday/Saturday admission button. The party doesn’t feature a meal but a cash bar will be available. The event is sponsored by Rick Weaver and Rick’s Rupps.
On Saturday, the always popular swap meet — considered one of the world’s biggest vintage snowmobile swap meets — begins at 8 a.m. and will be open all day. Attendees are welcome to browse the parts, sleds, memorabilia and more offered by vendors and individuals hailing from all over the U.S. and Canada. Swap spaces are $20 preregistered and $25 at the gate on the day of the event.
Food will be available all weekend — the Watertown Lions Club will sell food on Saturday and the Waconia Lions Club will sell food on Sunday — and a silent auction will be held in the Event Center on both Saturday and Sunday. Bid on hundreds of great vintage snowmobile memorabilia from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and after you’re done bidding, don’t miss the special interest displays inside the Event Center.
Always a highlight of the Ride In, the trail ride starts at 11 a.m. sharp. Organizers boast that it is the biggest vintage ride anywhere. No Minnesota trail permit is required to participate in the ride.
“The trail ride is going to be restricted to the lake. We had to do that last year, too. It’s not as scenic but it’s certainly just as fun,” Stefanson said.
Usually, the 12-mile ride travels through scenic Carver County but even with the need to hold it on the lake, it will still attract hundreds of riders. Staging for the ride is on the lake.
If one would rather watch than ride, MVSS drag races start at 11 a.m. The races feature more than 20 classes and many local riders try their luck in the event. New this year is the Baddest SRX Shootout, which will help determine the baddest, fastest Yamaha SRX. For classes and rules, visit
“The SRX Shootout is creating a lot of buzz,” Stefanson said. “People are coming from both coasts to prove that they have the fastest racing machine.”
“Hopefully, it doesn’t get too much colder,” Goede added. “The ice conditions are great but it is a little slippery out there. We could use a little snow to provide some traction on the ice and for the trail ride. We’re watching the weather. Knock on wood, it will all turn out.”
Stefanson mentioned the growing popularity of the WOBLE (Waconia Or Bust Leafspring Expedition) ride that occurs on the Saturday of the Ride In (learn more at the WOBLE Facebook page).
“The WOBLE ride takes our event name literally,” he said. “Hardy participants are proving that their 1970s leaf spring vintage snowmobiles can make it from Prior Lake to Waconia on the Saturday morning of our event.  Their trucks and trailers are already at the event for the ride home, but they must ride in from Prior Lake to Lake Waconia. The event has been occurring for years now, and gains more participants each year.”
Saturday concludes with the evening banquet, which will be held in the Event Center. Attendees who are lucky enough to get a seat at this popular event (RSVP required) will enjoy a great meal, a live auction and the company of special dignitaries representing Scorpion and Brut sleds. The doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner starts at 7 p.m.
A special sled auction benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation will be held at 8 p.m. during the banquet. Goede said two fully restored Scorpion sleds highlight this special auction.
The fun continues on Sunday. The swap meet opens at 8 a.m. and if a seller couldn’t make it to the swap meet on Saturday, they’re in luck as swap spaces are free on Sunday.
The Big Show — the world’s biggest vintage judged show featuring more than 45 classes (including restored, unrestored, Survivor and Clone classes) and 140+ awards this year — will occur from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All who preregister for the show will receive a commemorative plaque. Goede said 500+ sleds are expected for the show.
The Oval Racers Alliance (ORA) will present big time oval racing on the lake, including twin-trackers, starting at noon. An autograph session featuring Scorpion and Brut legends and VIPs will be held at the Event Center from noon to 1 p.m. Bring your Scorpion and Brut memorabilia (limit three items) or pick up a special Scorpion commemorative poster for them to sign.
Do you have a loud snowmobile? Maybe it will win the Loud Snowmobile Contest, which starts at 1 p.m. In 2013, trophies will be awarded in both Megaphone and Tuned Pipe categories. Contestants can register in the Event Center before 11:30 a.m. There is no charge to compete in the contest.
The Ride In concludes with an awards ceremony at 3 p.m. in the Event Center.
In addition to the dozens of MVSS members, the Ride In is made possible by its many sponsors and the work of members of local snowmobile clubs, including Carver County Snowrunners, Southwest Trails, Region 8, Westonka Snow Blazers, Southtonka Snowmobile Club, and the Chaska Snow Hawks. Goede said the MVSS uses proceeds from the Ride In to help support these local clubs.
“We’d love to see everybody out at the Ride In,” Goede said. “Come and have a good time and enjoy the show.”
For more information, contact MVSS at [email protected] or (651) 649-4688.

Contact Todd Moen at [email protected]