Sno-Mo-Cade History Final Issue
The 2004 Frost Bite Days are now another part of
Roseau County history. As the photographs, videos, and the memorabilia
of the weekend events come in we see how this event fits into the
culture of Roseau County.
For those who didn’t visited the Polaris Experience
Center this past week, stop in and examine the Sno Mo Cade exhibit of
photographs and Roseau Times-Region newspaper articles.
This article is the last in the series about Sno Mo
Cade, which was a Roseau Lion’s Club annual snowmobile racing event
that took place during the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s.
In 1973 the festivities took on a little different turn
when the Lion’s tried a three day festival. There was a Friday evening
dance with competitions that brought out many of the areas top dancers
and a weekend snow sculpture competition.
Former Minnesota Governor Karl Rolvaag was the Grand
Marshall of the annual Saturday parade. About 100 snowmobiles
participated in the parade.
The 1973 snowmobile race winners included Bob Eastman
winning the first Polaris Cup, and such legends as Jim Bernat, Donald
Kvien, Greg Grahn, Dorothy Mercer, Gene Janousek, Cyrel Flem, Rhett
Haugen, Charlie Lofton, with Karlyn Elgin and Susan Byfuglien taking
the Powder Puff races. With Dorothy Mercer on the “Shooting Star” at
the Sunday events it was no wonder the grandstand was packed to
In 1974 Darcy Ewing took the Polaris Trophy home. Arlyn
Saage raced across the finish line in the Cross Country race to set a
new record. With so many snowmobile manufacturers vying for the sports
enthusiasts dollar, the races had several makes beside the usual
Polaris, Arctic Cat, and Ski Doo. Other top racers in 1974 included
Gary Wold, Arne Rantanen on Yamaha, and Steve Thorson on a Mercury.
Carmen Przekwas, Powder Puff champion would hold that title for 1974
The victory banquet in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church
in 1975 had Chairmen David Johnson and Louis Knochenmus and Queen
Dorren Hammerback awarding the trophies to Jim Bernat, Don Omdahl, and
Larry Rugland who vied for the Polaris Cup. The old timer’s race
trophy went to Gary Olson of Badger. Other winners included Jeff
Anderson, Lee Cymbaluk, Arne Rantanen, Russ Iverson, Gary Wold, Allan
Monsrud, Leroy Saage, and Bert Bassett.
1976 brought heavy snow and most winners left for home
prior to the banquet on Saturday night. Those who stuck around
included JoMar Bernat, Polaris Cup winner Darcy Ewing, Bert Bassett,
Bot Rentow, and Ray Graff. Track conditions may have been tough but
Genevee Bayne on a Mercury hung in there to take the Powder Puff race
A change was in order in 1978 as the racing events
seemed to take second place to other activities. The big event of the
1978 Lion’s Winter Festival was an arm wrestling contest. The event
pitted many against their rivals in a friendly contest. The overall
woman’s arm wrestling champion was Marsha Dahlgren and Duane Paulson
for the men.
Sno Mo Cade events faltered from then on as the cost of
gas became a prohibitive factor to going to races and participating in
Sno Mo Cade information for the past three weeks has
come from the Roseau Times-Region and various participants in the
events. We hope you have enjoyed this look back at the history of a
time when the roar of the snowmobile first brought excited crowds to
The Roseau County Historical Society has a new staff
member. The new museum assistant, Dana Skime grew up in International
Falls, and graduated with a business management degree from Brainerd
Technical College. She moved to Skime after marrying her husband,
Jamie Skime. They have two children, Samantha and Christopher. She
enjoys writing, has a strong love of history, and genealogy, having
traced her family back to the 1700s. Dana’s position includes working
with memberships, registering incoming donations to the collection,
and assisting the curator in other areas of museum operations. Stop in
and introduce yourself to her and take some time to go through the