The Midwest Ride-In event – previously known by many simply as “Waconia” – has grown into arguably the largest vintage snowmobile event in the world.
The event dates back 31 years, but starting in 2020, it moved out of its Waconia, Minnesota, laketop location to the 500-plus acre ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota, which has allowed it to grow even more.
The Ride-In is an extravaganza of all things old-school snowmobiling which draws collectors and memory seekers from far and wide. There’s racing action, a swap meet, judged events and various entertaining things to do, but the very best part to us is the “ride” aspect of it.
When we visited on Saturday, January 29, the place was abuzz with old snowmobiles being drive on ERX’s 10-mile trail system. At any one moment while we walked the grounds, we’d be getting passed by a super-loud Sno Jet with rear-exiting pipes, a perfectly restored Mercury, a classic Scorpion featuring a modern suspension or a Allsport cockpit sled. Nobody was going over about 20 mph, but everybody was having a great time. Folks would gather at the big bonfire and swap stories, admire each others’ sleds and then make another lap.
Here are just a few of the photos we captured at the three-day event, celebrating some of the brands that had strong showings. Enjoy.