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Farmington will celebrate snow with Saturday's SnoBlast

Snowmobilers like these, pictured crossing Elm Street last week, can explore the trails around Farmington at Saturday's Super SnoBlast.

One day before the crowds roar at Super Bowl XLV, engines will roar in Farmington.

Snowmobilers will take to the trails around town Saturday as part of the city's Super SnoBlast, a first-year event put together by the Farmington Business Association, the Farmington SnoTigers and a number of local businesses. The event will include a snowmobile run, a buffet dinner, live music and karaoke.

If everything goes well, organizers hope it will be the first step in a larger event that will become a winter tradition in Farmington.

The idea, said Dunn Bros. co-owner David Hartnett, is to celebrate what Farmington has to offer during the winter.

"I always tell my clients to play to their strengths," said Hartnett, who also owns a graphic design business. "We don't have lakes. We don't have some things that other cities have. But we have land. We have trails."

Hartnett said he got the inspiration for the event when he was driving down Highway 3 and watching snowmobile headlights come toward him. There is a large network of snowmobile trails in the area, maintained by the SnoTigers and other area snowmobile clubs.

The snowmobile run will have five stops. Participants who hit all five will have an opportunity to win prizes at the end of the day. The top individual prize is $100 cash. First prize for teams is $200.

There will be an informal swap meet outside Farmington Billiards, and dinner and live music at the end of the day at Celt's Pub.

Buds & Bytes co-owner Vida Raine said the Farmington Business Association took on the event because it was looking for a winter festival. With this year's heavy snowfall, a snowmobile ride made sense.

"Obviously it's a bad economy, so people maybe don't have the money to drive up north for a snowmobile vacation," Raine said. "We're going to try to stress how easy it is to get to Farmington."

This year's event came together quickly -- planning started in mid-December -- but organizers hope to create something bigger next year. There is already talk about adding an amateur snowcross event next year. An area farmer has already offered to donate land along one of the trails.

Hartnett talks about adding events like snow sculpting contests in parks around town.

By holding the event on the Saturday of Super Bowl weekend each year, organizers hope residents will be able to plan ahead.

"We're putting a positive spin on snow," Hartnett said. "Instead of shoveling it, have some fun in it."

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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