Snowcross event hits Alpena this weekend

ALPENA – Michigan Extreme Racing is finally going to have its day in Alpena.

After having to cancel its snowcross racing event the last two years due to a lack of snow, it is geared up to perform at the Alpena County Fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday.

The Alpena Snow-X will feature racers who will navigate their snowmobiles around a track that features large jumps and hairpin turns. It is expected that nearly 100 participants will take part hoping to conquer the course and entertain the crowd.

Race organizer Jorden Susewitz said the event will be thrilling and similar to motocross, which is done on a motorcycle. He said the event is expect to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and scheduled to wrap up at about 5 p.m. He said there is a push being made that will allow the racing to continue after dark, however, if the pieces fall into place.

“Our goal is really to race into the night, if we can find the appropriate lighting,” Susewitz said. “It would add to the atmosphere and make it more like one of the large national races. We have several national riders in the series and I expect a great show for the spectators.”

Even though there has been a great deal of snow this winter, Susewitz said more was needed at the fairgrounds. He said the Alpena Department of Public Works has been removing snow from the city and dropping it off at the fairgrounds to use for the track’s construction. Susewitz said the city has been a great help in making the event a reality. He said it has even made a temporary change to the local snowmobile route for the weekend, which will allow people to ride their sleds to the fairgrounds for the event.

“The city has been generous enough to allow the snowmobiles to come down 11th Avenue from the normal route and go to the fairgrounds,” Susewitz said. “I think that will help attract snowmobile enthusiasts who may not be from the area, which will help make the event even that much more successful.”

Susewitz said the event is set up to be fun for families and that food and beverages will be available.

“There will be adult beverages available, and then things like hot chocolate and coffee. The Alpena County Fair Board will also have a concession stand open,” Susewitz said. “There will a trailer that will be selling snowmobile accessories and Michigan Extreme Racing merchandise and the Merchants Building will be open for people to warm up in should they get cold.”

The cost of the event is $10 each day and children under five get in free. Racing begins Saturday at 9 a.m. and at the same time the following day. Sunday’s race is expected to wind up at about 4 p.m.

A portion of the money raised by the fair board will be used toward adding water access to the fairgrounds campsites.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at www.thealpenanews.com.