Snowfest permit issued to Norway snowmobile club

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NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen on Thursday unanimously approved the application from the Norway Trackers for its annual Snowfest.

“It’s a great event. It always brings a lot of people to town,” Selectman Russ Newcomb said.

The outdoor festival is set from 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Jan. 26 and 27.

Snowfest draws thousands of snowmobile enthusiasts and observers to Lake Pennesseewassee beside Route 118 for drag racing and radar runs. Proceeds pay for the club’s maintenance and grooming of about 50 miles of trails.

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The permit is required for any event with more than 250 people. A public hearing is required before it can be issued to ensure the safety of everyone at the event.

Diane Gammon, president of the Norway Trackers Snowmobile Club, said the festival will be about the same as last year, except the antique snowmobile owners have requested an opportunity to participate in the radar run and drag races. In the past they have only exhibited their snowmobiles in a parade.

Gammon said she is hopeful the ice and snow conditions will be good. Last year, unsafe ice conditions forced the cancellation of Snowfest.

Gammon said previously that the fees for the participants will be reduced this year because the Norway Trackers decided not to team up with the Maine Snowmobile Drag Racing Association, which was previously at the races to check sleds before the runs for a fee. With the change, participants will no longer have to pay the tech fee for the inspection, she said.

The entry fee will be $20 for drag racing on the ice track, $15 for the snow track. Radar runs are $5, or $20 for five runs.

In other business, the board agreed to look into a request by Christopher Cooper and Walt Suomela, owners of property at the end of Buck Road, which is off Shedd Road. The two want to have a gate farther toward the end of the road to prevent ongoing theft and vandalism on their house, apple orchard, barn and other property.

Because it is a public road, the board can not make the road inaccessible unless it has a public hearing and there is agreement to discontinue the road.

In that case, the town has to pay damages to the property owners, Town Manager David Holt said.

The board has agreed to confer with the town attorney to see what steps can be taken to protect the property owners and the public’s right to use the road.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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