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Snowmobile club's winter expo is Saturday

As the weather turns cooler and winter starts to once again seem like an inevitability, there's at least one group of Farmington residents that couldn't be happier.

While many Farmington residents are savoring onset of autumn, the Farmington Sno Tigers will celebrate Sept. 18 in anticipation of winter's first heavy snows. The club will hold its third annual winter expo starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Farmington American Legion. The event will feature displays from area snowmobile dealerships, a swap meet and food, among other things. According to club president Jim Hoeft, the idea is to give people a one-stop shop as they get ready for another season of sledding.

"What was happening, we started seeing the generations move," Hoeft said. "A lot of younger people ... started to have kids. With the hustle and bustle of life, there was never a chance to take your kids somewhere and see all the manufacturers."

So, the Sno Tigers decided to bring the manufacturers all to one place. There will be three area dealers at the expo, showing off snowmobiles from Polaris, Arctic Cat and Ski-doo. Dealers will also offer discounts on clothing and other equipment.

"We put the expo on just as a family event to get people out, get them interested, give them an opportunity to see them all together," Hoeft said. "The more kids and families come, the better off we feel the sport is."

The winter expo is still growing. Last year it drew about 125 people, and with signs up all around town in recent weeks Hoeft hopes to draw even more this year.

"I always use the term, 'Rome wasn't built overnight,'" Hoeft said. "Every year we look at doing a better job of promoting. Every year you learn better ways of doing it."

Fund raiser

Saturday's activities will also include a fund raiser that will take place after the winter expo wraps up. There will be a beer bash and concert starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Legion.

Money raised at the event will help support the activities of the Sno Tigers. The 30-some year old club puts in a lot of work each winter to maintain trails in and around the city. The club has 57 members, about three-quarters of whom are active.

Hoeft said the club's goal is to promote snowmobiling in the community and keep people interested.

"It's one of those things that gets in your blood," he said. "It's like motorcycle riding or some of the other sports that you're just one with nature. It gets you away from the 494 traffic.... You get to be outside, see the wildlife. Snowmobile clubs try to make trails through some wonderful areas."

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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