By Marianne Christy
An estimated 6,000 snowmobile enthusiasts were drawn to Old Forge on Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14 for Snofest, the annual event that provides a sneak peak of sleds and gear that will be available to sledders in 2016.
The event, held at the George T. Hiltebrant Recreation Center on North Street, was the last show on the east coast to provide sled demo rides on next season’s Arctic Cat, Polaris, SkiDoo and Yamaha machines.
And according to Snofest committee member and Big Moose Yamaha/Arctic Cat owner Phil Martin, the snow conditions held up to the bitter end, which allowed more folks than ever the opportunity to test run the sled of their dreams.
Martin said approximately 800 rides were taken on Arctic Cat and Yamaha sleds, with other dealers reporting similar numbers.
He commended the Town of Webb Snowmobile and Highway Departments for their efforts in hauling snow to the site and maintaining the high-trafficked trail areas to assure a pleasant experience for test-drivers and other sledders.
Vendors inside the pavilion were also thrilled with the sales activity at their booths.
The event closed with the drawing for an 11-ft. enclosed Blizzard trailer provided by North-South Connection, and fireworks.
The winner of the trailer was Guy Finkbeiwer of Stone Ridge, NY.
As an off-shoot of Snofest, the owners of Van Auken’s Inne sponsored an end-of-season drawing for a 2015 Yamaha Viper. The winner was Philip Wort of Buffalo.