Haydays: Imperfect, But Still Fabulous

It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes a big event does in fact live up to its hype.

            That was the case last weekend, when the 46th annual Haydays Grass Drags & Swap Meet attracted a monstrous crowd to a renovated farm field near North Branch, Minnesota.

            Let’s get this out of the way right up front: There was in fact a massive traffic snarl on Saturday morning at Haydays, created by a combination of overnight rain, a lag in planning and some local governments who likely didn’t understand what kind of crowd was coming when they turned down requests for more parking fields near the event.

            Once people finally got to the Haydays event, however, they were treated to a one-of-a-kind celebration of all things snowmobiling (with a decent dose of ATVs mixed in).

            On the main drag strip, the two days of racing was close, exciting and, at times, downright hair raising. The biggest buzz was created by the One Stop Performance Pro Mod Outlaw driven by Brent Huff, which ran a hard-to-believe 500-foot time of 3.765 at 142.6 mph – and barely won its class! Just a couple of years ago people were wondering if it was even possible to run 500 feet in under 4 seconds, and now this 620-HP mod has shaved another .235 off that benchmark – unbelievable.

            The freestyle area attracted a crowd again, with bikes, sleds and quads flying through the air with young sky pilots doing tricks.

            Most Haydays attendees, however, see to be there for one primary thing – that’s right, a visit to the Snow Goer booth…. OK, I’m lying again – they’re there for the swap meet. Acre upon acre of miscellaneous crap changed hands, allowing hundreds of sellers to finally clean up their shop or garage, and hundreds more to make a bigger mess out of their shop or garage!

            Because of the traffic problem, Saturday’s crowd emerged late and stayed late. For Joe Average consumer, the secret to Haydays succes is Sunday – a smaller crowd, more motivated sellers in the swap meet, less traffic and better racing.

            Yeah, Haydays wasn’t perfect, and the traffic problem was hard to look past. But snowmobiling’s biggest event is still absolutely fabulous.

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