When the calendar flips to August, knowledgeable snowmobilers know that, despite what might seem like common sense, some of the biggest and best snowmobile events of the year are fast approaching.
Yes, pre-season is where the action is at – not just in our sport, but in many activities. The big hunting shows are typically in the summer before the fall season, and the large motorcycle and boating shows occur in the winter and early spring, before those activities start. Why is that? It’s because people like to dream about and prepare for their favorite recreational activities before they can actually participate in them. And then when the snow flies, in our case, the focus can be on riding rather than milling though conventions centers.
We’ve selected 10 snowmobiling events scattered across the United States to highlight in this article. There certainly are other events, many based on specific niches – including but not limited to grass drags, asphalt drags, watercross events or vintage shows – plus many individual dealer shows, state association events and other showcases.
But to see the factory displays, the broadest cross-section of aftermarket vendors and other attractions, here are our Big 10 for the fall, in the order in which they will occur. Each title is a live link so you can click through to get more information.
- Outlaw Grass Drags & Swap Meet, August 26-27, Princeton, Minnesota – Referred to by some as Haydays Jr., this event just north of Minnesota’s Twin Cities includes vintage and current-model grass drags, a huge swap meet, ATV and UTV demo rides, a large vendor area and more. Admission is $15 each day. http://outlawgrassdrags.com/events.shtml
- Haydays Grass Drags & Swap Meet, September 10-11, North Branch, Minnesota – The host Sno Barons snowmobile club will host its 50th annual Haydays this fall, a big benchmark for snowmobiling’s biggest event. Expect the usual carnival atmosphere with new sled unveilings, a monstrous swap, grass drags, UTV races, the largest aftermarket vendor area in the sport, racer autograph sessions and much, much, much more. A weekend pass is $30, or $25 for Saturday only/$15 for Sunday only.
- Big East Powersports Show, September 30-October 2, Syracuse, New York – The indoor snowmobile show season starts with the biggest indoor event in the East, the 23rd annual Big East Powersports Show. The Oncenter in Syracuse, New York, becomes a snowmobiling Mecca for one weekend per year, with displays from all four snowmobile factories, great deals on gear and accessories, plus performance parts, riding destinations, trailers and much more, plus informative Snow Goer Clinic seminars on Saturday. Tickets are $10 at the door, or click here to buy advance tickets for $8 each.
- Racing Into Winter Grass Drags and Water Cross, October 7-9, Fremont, New Hampshire – Often called the Haydays of the East, this is a huge outdoor event with grass drags, watercross, a big swap meet, vendor displays, vintage and freestyle shows and a festive atmosphere. Admission costs $15 on Friday and $20 each on Saturday and Sunday.
- Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Expo, October 8-9, Denver, Colorado – The first and best Western show of the season occurs at the National Western Complex in Denver. The 31st annual Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Expo’s swap meet and educational seminars, hosted by the Colorado Snowmobile Association, are legendary. Plus there will be factory displays from Arctic Cat, Polaris and Ski-Doo showcasing mountain sleds and snow bikes, appearances and autograph sessions with legendary backcountry riding heroes, tons of mountain-focused gear, performance parts, riding destinations, deals on riding gear and much more. Tickets are $10 at the door, or $8 in advance by clicking here.
- Snowmobile USA Milwaukee, October 14-16, West Allis, Wisconsin – The legendary Snowmobile USA show at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds really gets things rolling in the Badger State in mid-October. Inside the Wisconsin Exposition Center you’ll find big factory displays, aftermarket vendors, booths from resorts and lodges and great deals on everything from riding gear to trailering accessories. There’s even an outdoor swap meet. Tickets are $10 at the door.
- Washington Snowmobile & Power Sports Expo, October 15-16, Puyallup, Washington – All things powersports come together at the Washington State Fair Events Center in suburban Tacoma at the biggest snowmobile show in the Pacific Northwest. Big vendor displays, a large swap meet and more get people ready to ride in the Cascades. Admission is $10.
- Utah Snowmobile Show, October 21-22, South Jordan, Utah – Just as the snow starts to fall in the surrounding high country, snowmobiling moves indoor in suburban Salt Lake City. Held at the Salt Lake County Events Center, this event draws thousands to see mountain riding-specific displays of all sorts. Tickets are $8 at the door.
- Snowmobile USA Novi, November 4-6, Novi, Michigan – You’ve heard the term “saving the best for last?” That certainly applies here, as one of the very best indoor shows is also one of the last. The Snowmobile USA Show in suburban Detroit fills the host Suburban Collection Showplace with everything snowmobiling and is a great place to find deals on riding gear and accessories, talk to factory reps and hang out with other snowmobilers (or, stop by the Snow Goer booth and heckle us!). Tickets are $10 at the door.
- Idaho Snowmobile Show, November 18-19, Boise, Idaho – Right on the doorstep of the riding season, this event at the Expo Idaho facility is a place to get the last items you need before taking to the hills, plus check out parts you might want to add to your sled. Tickets are $8 at the door.