Kids pro snowmobile races zoom to Park Rapids Feb. 14-15
Park Rapids will be inundated with kids, their snowmobiles and their families Feb. 14-15.
KC Pro Racing West Division will be in Park Rapids that weekend for two days filled with snowmobile racing. The race will be located in the open field by TEAM Industries on Industrial Park Road, Park Rapids. It's an all-day event.
Two local families helped bring the event to Park Rapids - Jeff and Angie Voigt and Kevin and Jill Thompson have children who participate in the snowmobile races.
About 60 families are members of the KC Pro West Division. It's a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1989. Races are held nearly every weekend in January and February in various locations throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.
Children range in age from 4-12 years old. There are nine different classes of snowmobile racing from beginner racing to advanced. Kids race on Kitty Cats or 120s, which are different types of snowmobiles.
Adam Thompson, 9, started racing about three years ago. His favorite part is the trophies he receives for winning or even participating.
Ean Voigt, 9, also said he likes the trophies.
"And meeting friends," he said.
The boys also said they like having snowball fights at the race.
Chloe Voigt, 7, also races. She prefers the Kitty Cat snowmobiles because they are smaller and aren't as rough.
Aleah Voigt, 5, has driven snowmobile around the house but hasn't raced yet.
On race day, parents and other adults stand around the track to help out if kids drive off the track. To keep warm, people pile into trailers and kids are able to make new friends.
The moms say that some people think snowmobiling seems dangerous but there haven't been any major injuries.
"All these kids have shin pads, vests, everything," Jill said.
There are bumps and bruises sometimes but that happens in any sport, she said.
A banquet is held after every day of racing.
"It's a long day," Angie said. "The kids usually sleep on the way there."
Jeff is excited that one of the races will be in Park Rapids but it's also a lot of work, he said.
He has been working with others to get the field ready for race day by moving snow. A track will need to be flooded to make ice for the Kitty Cat races.
Scott Burlingame, city public works superintendent, is donating time to help with some of the work on the track.
Jeff is the vice president of the KC Pro West board this year. He would like more kids from this area to become involved. Also, there is always a need for more volunteers to be spotters around the track.
The race in Park Rapids is open to other kids who would like to race. Parents should call Jeff first, though, he said.
For more information or to volunteer, call Jeff at 234-6444 or go to www.kcprowest.com.