PERU - Michael Relation thinks the Trailfinder Snowmobile Club has found a working formula for putting on an event that brings snowmobile enthusiasts from miles around year after year.
"It's just the same thing as last year," said Relation, referring to the annual Vintage Snowmobile Show.
The show reaches its 10th year this Sunday, Jan. 2, as the club hosts the event at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 309. It's something Relation, as club president, looks forward to each time.
"It's just one of those good events that gives you something to do in the winter time," he said.
The show centers mainly on snowmobile owners putting their various makes and models on display and includes a contest that awards prizes to the top machines in each class. The classes consist of 1966 and older, 1967-69, 1970-73, and 1974 and newer, as well as a muscle class, race class and mini class.
"There's about a dozen classes depending on the ages of them," explained Relation.
Relation said he would just like to see an increase in attendance this year over recent years.
"We usually get about 30 to 40 sleds, but out in Western New York, they've had shows that bring in thousands of them," he said. "I'm not sure how to make it any bigger."
However, lower attendance is something most snowmobile shows are seeing regardless of where they are, admitted Relation.
"I honestly think it's the economy," he said. "Five years ago, the antique sled community was a lot more active. Back then, though, there were a lot more sleds still out there to find and restore. Now, they've pretty much been found or the collectors just can't afford them."
"But, there are still some available out there," Relation continued. "People can get into it real cheap by buying them for a couple hundred bucks and fixing them up."
Events like the Vintage Snowmobile Show are a great venue for those new to antique snowmobile collecting to learn more about the pastime, too, said Relation.
"That's what we're there for," said Relation.
This Sunday's show will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with registration from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Voting for winners in the respective classes will be held from 12-1 p.m.; trophies will be awarded from 2-3 p.m. The event will also include raffles of several donated items and refreshments are expected to be available. Admission is free.
For more information, including the cost to register a snowmobile in the event, call Relation at 643-8839.