One of the most anticipated vintage snowmobile events of each winter in the Upper Midwest has succumbed to the COVID-19 restrictions, but plans are already in the works for the 2022 event.
The organizers of the Midwest Ride-In – for years just referred to by insiders as “Waconia” based on its location in Waconia, Minnesota for more than 25 years – officially pulled the pin on the event on the evening of December 9. You can see the full announcement they sent out below.
The Ride-In has grown into the Upper Midwest’s most anticipated event — with a massive display of antique, classic and vintage snowmobiles as well as racing events and a ride of some of that classic iron. Already huge after a long run in Waconia, the event moved in 2020 to the ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota, and further exploded in popularity. This coming winter’s event was scheduled for January 29-31.
But, with hospitals filling up with COVID patients and states severely restricting the gathering of crowds, the organizers were forced into their decision. We were particularly looking forward to this season’s event, as it’s focus was going to be the “Triple Wars” featuring cool iron all the way up to the 1990s. We’re sure there will still be plenty of two-stroke triples at the event in 2020, but the overall theme will shift to the 50-year anniversary of John Deere’s entry into the snowmobile market.
To get a slight flavor of what a person might see at an event like the Midwest Ride-In, click through to see our photo-based stories from 2018.
Here’s the full press release from the event organizers:
2021 Midwest Ride-In: The World’s Largest Vintage Snowmobile Event Postponed Until 2022
Elk River, Minn. December 9, 2020 – We are saddened to share this news with you. With COVID event restrictions expected to remain in place well into winter, Midwest Vintage Snowmobile Shows is postponing the 2021 Midwest Ride-In to 2022. The world’s largest antique, vintage and classic snowmobile show was scheduled for January 29-31, 2021 at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota.
“We held in there as long as we could hoping conditions would improve, but unfortunately the Midwest Ride-In joins the long list of events looking forward to next year,” said Ride-In co-chair Mitch Edwards.
Last year ERX made its debut as the new home for the Midwest Ride-In after a very successful 25+ year run in Waconia and it proved to be a home run. Attendees raved about the facility, the racing venues, ample parking and the miles of groomed trails that crisscross the 500-acre facility.
“We were really excited for the 2021 Midwest Ride-In as ERX exceeded everyone’s expectations,” said Edwards. “People loved it. And everyone we talked to said they were coming back in 2021 and bringing friends.”
With the postponement of the 2021 show we are also pivoting from the timeless theme “Triple Wars” – a tribute to the three cylinder, two-stroke engines that powered countless snowmobiles over the past 50-plus years for a subsequent year. Instead, the 2022 Midwest Ride-In feature will coincide with the 50-year anniversary of one of the most recognizable and iconic US manufacturers entry into the snowmobile business.
Please join us at the next Midwest Ride-In January 28-30, 2022 as we celebrate the 50-year anniversary of John Deere snowmobiles.
Editor’s Note: Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! This story is from the November 2021 issue’s Cold Tested department. Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or your computer for a low cost.