RANGELEY — The Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club will host its 29th Snodeo for three days beginning Thursday.
It is the club’s largest fundraiser of the year, according to events committee chairman Jonny Wakefield.
“We do a lot of work to organize this weekend,” Wakefield said, “but we couldn’t do it without many, many hours from our volunteers.”
Although most events are hosted by the snowmobile club, area organizations and individuals provide additional fun and entertainment.
Thursday’s event begins at 5:30 p.m. with the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce’s Chili & Chowder Cook-Off at the Gingerbread House in Oquossoc village. Casino Night follows at 7 p.m. at Bald Mountain Camps, and includes light hors d’oeuvres, beverages and socializing.
“Casino Night and the Friday auction are both hugely popular events, so folks should get there early,” Wakefield said. “We usually have standing room only pretty early in the evening.”
On Friday, activities include snowmobile-demonstration rides, featuring the newest sleds and equipment. The evening’s welcome party and auction will run from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Moose Alley, 2809 Main St. All proceeds from the auction go to the grooming operations for the snowmobile club.
Moose Alley will also feature musical entertainment, with New England’s Souled Out Showband playing funk, soul and pop hits. Shows for ages 21 and older start at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Moose Alley offers advance ticket purchases online.
Saturday morning starts with Rock Maple Racing and Tame the Track snowmobile races at the Steven A. Bean Municipal Airport. Preregistration is available at rockmapleracing.com and tamethetracktour.com.
On-site registration starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday and continues Saturday morning for the five-mile Rock Maple Cross Country Race and the third-mile Tame the Track Tour competitions.
Gates will open for the public at 8 a.m. Tickets are $10, and children age 12 and younger attend for free.
Proceeds will support the club’s grooming costs, according to Wakefield.
Competitive radar runs, organized by the Harrison Friendly Riders, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Haley Pond, behind the Rangeley Inn & Tavern.
Those looking for less action can enjoy a marshmallow roast by the pond gazebo. Children are invited to make gingerbread men at the Gingerbread House in Oquossoc from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At 2 p.m., the Rave X professional stunt riders will perform high-speed runs and aerial somersaults up a 30-foot snow mountain on Main Street, between Boss Power Sports and Moose Alley.
Monty Moose will lead the 6 p.m. parade from the Rangeley Inn & Tavern. Sledders should start lining up at 5:30 p.m. for the ride down Main Street to the lakeside park fireworks display.
Those looking for a place to stay at the last minute might be disappointed because local lodging has been booked nearly to capacity, according to Ethna Thompson at the Rangeley Inn & Tavern.
“Every room here at the inn is booked, and we have a waiting list for any cancellations,” she said. “Most other places are booked, too, but we all will try to find people something if we can.”