It’s been eight weeks since the club that annually hosts the Hay Days Grass Drags and Swap Meet cancelled the sport’s biggest event, but the reality is just setting in for those who annually kick off the pre-season in the Upper Midwest by attending the extravaganza. The incredible motorhead family reunion that Hay Days has become for many folks will not happen — thanks to a pandemic and the resulting restrictions on crowds and gatherings.

That said, there are two events going on this weekend that are trying to fill the void, and it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of crowd turns out for each event.

The World Championship Derby Complex jumped first, announcing its “Fall Motorsports Show and Swap” for Eagle River, Wisconsin, Sept. 11-13. Shortly thereafter, the “Elk River XPO at ERX Presented by UpNorth Sports” was unveiled for Elk River, Minnesota, on the same dates.

Both have big things planned, with vendors showing their wares and various forms of entertainment.

At Eagle River, a large swap meet should be an intriguing draw for many — with Derby officials saying they quickly sold out of the planned 180 swap meet locations on the 30-acre facility. They also have a range of other vendors who plan to attend.

At Elk River, UpNorth Sports is the primary big shooter, with huge clothing displays from all the major brands, plus a smattering of other vendors. There are even a handful of vendors who plan to be in both locations with a display.

Beyond that, Eagle River is bringing in a high-flying freestyle show to kick off its event, while Elk River is planning celebrity autographs and state-fair style food.

Both locations are promising to follow local guidelines when it comes to traffic flow, social distancing and such, but the COVID situation still looms in both states so only time will tell if that is a big enough deterent to keep gear-hungry sledheads home. Click through on the links above to learn about each event.

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