BARNESVILLE, Minn. — In the heart of Barnesville this weekend, the Clay County Fairgrounds will welcome hundreds of vintage snowmobile lovers who get to race them on a newly-built home-made track.
Despite brutal wind chills and a blizzard this week, die-hard organizers are getting ready for the sweet smell of the old two-stroke engine. KletschFest Winter Snocross kicks off with its opening ceremonies at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15.
The Clay County Fairgrounds, usually silent in the winter, is buzzing with activity right now. Organizers have been working morning, noon and night — not only to build and pack a new snocross track — but sawing up lumber for the grandstand.
"Right now, we are shooting for over 100 sleds and if we have over 1,000 spectators, I am going to be happy," said organizer Jacob Kletsch.
You won't see any of the spendy sleds we ride today at the event, but some of the oldies, like the 1978 Yamaha Enticer.
"There were Rupps, Yamaha, Ski-Doo — everyone was making them back then," Kletsch said. "There were 40 snowmobile manufacturers, we will probably see 15 of those manufacturers out here tomorrow."
The Kletsch brothers and their snowmobile loving buddies have not stopped organizing and building their dream track for this weekend's big event in Barnesville. Despite the cold, they are celebrating a winter of snow — it's what they need to do what they love.
"It has been a blast," said organizer Max Carlson. "Maybe (I'm) getting a little frostbite but it is worth it at the end of the day."
Race registration starts at 7 a.m. Saturday. More information on the event can be found on its Facebook page.