Friday Fast Five: 5 (or 10) Great Things About Haydays Snowmobile Swap & Grass Drags

The Unofficial Start To Winter is coming up FAST!

Haydays is now just a week away! OK, so maybe it’s actually eight days away, depending on when you’re reading this, but for folks like us who are displaying at the show, setup day is Friday, September 7… hopefully we’ll see a bunch of you over the course of the greatest weekend the fall has to offer – September 8-9 this year.

So what makes Haydays – the annual grass drag and swap meet event in central Minnesota always held on the weekend after Labor Day – extra special? Let us count the ways, starting with the letter S, in this week’s Friday Fast Five.

1. Swap – Say what you will about everything else that goes on at Haydays, but the monstrous swap meet is truly the star of the show. Go ahead, walk the 30-plus acres of back-to-back trailers full of misc motorhead stuff and try not to get sucked into a deal. Whether you’re looking for a old Ski-Doo Blizzard, a hood for a ’95 Thundercat, a clutch for that damned 900 Fusion you let your brother-in-law talk you into, or a three-year old race sled that’s “Never Been Raced” according to the sign (but which looks completely clapped out), everything sled related is there. Plus, there are dishwashers, hand tools, old dirt bikes, gas grills, truck tires, fishing boats, gas powered shopping carts, car stereos, snow blowers, drive belts, air conditioners, deep fryers, basketball hoops, gas cans, laundry tubs, belt sanders…

2. Sleds – If you haven’t seen them yet, all of the 2013 snowmobiles from the big four snowmobile manufacturers will be there, plus this is usually where the race sleds are unveiled for the coming season. Not into the new stuff? Looking at the antique and vintage sleds can be just as intriguing.


3. Speed – It is hard to describe exactly how cool the super-powered, turbo- and nitrous-fed Outlaw sleds are. When they pull to the line, they spit and sputter on idle, and generally sound like crap. When they launch and roar past the fences, it’s almost hard to believe your eyes; they accelerate so hard it’s almost like watching a cartoon. On fast-forward. There are many classes that run all weekend on the grass strip, so there’s a lot to see, but it’s the unlimited sleds that get people running to the fence.

4. Stunts – For at least a decade now, Haydays has featured a hugely popular stunt area, where freestylers with sleds, dirt bikes and ATVs turn flips and knack-knack and whatever else they call their wild tricks. This year, a second area has been added for the ATV and UTV Terracross events. It’s a must-see.

5. Suds & Sun – What other snowmobile event can you go to where you can buy mini-pitchers of beer to drink with your friends, get a suntan and, weather permitting, see dozens of young ladies in bikini tops?  You don’t get that at the Soo I-500, the Grand Prix de Valcourt or the radar run on the lake behind Billy Bob’s Eatery & Saloon in January.

OK, we can’t stop ourselves – we’ve gone letter ‘S’ crazy… here are five more reasons to love Haydays:

1. Steals & Slamming Deals – Even outside of the swap meet, there are great deals to be found at Haydays. Whether you’re shopping for a non-current snowmobile jacket, a track stand for your sled, a year’s worth of two-stroke oil or a helmet, there are a couple hundred vendors that would be glad to trade your cash for what they brought to the event.

2. State Fair-ish Food – “Hey Bob, you think I should get da’ mini donuts, da’ cheese curds or da’ super-sized fries?” “Forget that stuff, Larry, go for the Gyros, the mega polish sausage with onions and peppers AND the Lions burger.”

3. Signatures – If you (or your kids) like snowmobile racing, there’s no better place to meet the racers and collect dozens of signatures than Haydays. Each snowmobile brand posts specific times to get racer autographs. You can also meet some oval racers at the Snow Goer booth as a part of our 50th Anniversary of the Eagle River World Championship Snowmobile Derby display.

4. Snowmobilers – Yeah, we all really got screwed my Ma’ Nature last winter. But, you know what? We’re still snowmobilers, gosh-darnit, and we love our sport. So, let’s go hang out with 40,000 people who share our love of this wacky winter activity, all year long.

5. Snow Goer Subscriptions – Oh, c’mon, you didn’t really expect us to go 10-deep without a little self promotion, did you? Come see us at the Snow Goer booth, get smoking deals on magazine subscriptions, check out our amazing 50 Years Of The Eagle River Derby display, sign up to win some great prizes and get a free tattoo. (OK, we’re lying about the tattoo, but we’ve got a lot going on at Snow Goer Central this year – we’re right along the fenceline, near the finish line of the grass drags.)

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