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Like any event you’ve had to wait in anticipation for a duration of time, it seems to go by in a blink of an eye, and over entirely too quick. That’s how I felt about the Arctic Cat 60th Homecoming Collectors Show held this past weekend.

Some over cast skies provided rain off and on throughout the weekend, but provided an extremely beautiful backdrop for the 120th Annual Pennington County Fair.

It was brilliant to hold the show in conjunction with the 120th Annual Pennington County Fair. The entire fairgrounds was hopping with activity for families when they weren’t busy taking in all the Arctic Cat sights and stories in the Engelstad Arena.

Legendary cover band, Hairball, shook the grandstands on Thursday night with all your favorite 80s rock tunes. Fans loved their version of Twisted Sister and frontman Dee Snider.

Reflecting back, I’ve left Thief River Falls completely revved up over the Arctic Cat brand. Much like the 50th, an Arctic Cat energy engulfed the town and was infectious for enthusiasts. Here’s a look into Thursday when I arrived. Ill cover the remaining event in the coming days.

Thursday was dedicated to set-up. I got the ArcticInsider display set to go rather quickly and Gabby Hallstrom was nice enough to let me borrow her 2022 ZR6000 R-XC with ArcticInsider’s AC1 98 Rewind Wrap kit. Last season, 18yr old Gabby, won the Sport Women’s COR Powersports cross-country championship and will be one to watch move up the ranks this winter.


Thursday was set-up day, and it was pretty cool to see a line of trailers going through town headed to the Ralph Engelstad Arena. For me, this was the start of the Arctic Cat energy beginning to encompass the town.

Its not too often you get to see a trailer full of squeaky clean Z and ZR race sleds. It was quite fun to watch displayers pull in with their fav Cats.
When everything was loaded into the Ralph, there were about 200 Arctic Cat machines, marketing and advertising memorabilia, parts, garments and accessories representing Arctic Cat’s 60 Years.
Signs were set-up in the front entrance to greet the crowds throughout the weekend.
This display welcoming show-goers in the front entrance of the Ralph Engelstad Arena, represented a model from (L-R) 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000, 10 and 20. What was your favorite era?
Here’s a closer video look at the 60 Years of Arctic Cat models in the front lobby.
Arctic Cat blindsided most brand enthusiasts with an announcement that they would be introducing the new 2024 snowmobile platform at Hay Days. They even showed a sneak peek photo of it. (See story HERE) If I had a nickel for every time I was asked if I had seen and/or ridden it, Id be announcing my retirement today! BTW – The answer is, YES!
Thursday after set-up, I went to the Black Cat Bar n Grill and sat at the corner of the bar waiting for Joey Hallstrom (Show Coordinator and past Race/Product Mgr for AC) to join me. (Pictured on Right). As I was sitting there, the guy pictured on Left sat next to me and we started a conversation and the topic turned to Arctic Cat products. (I had no idea who he was) A handful of minutes later, Joey walked up and said, “Hey Kale! I see you met Kenny Halvorson!” This was a first for me, and to be honest, I was a bit star struck learning who I had been talking to. In my 20yr association with Arctic Cat, I had NEVER met Kenny, who is quite famous in the fiberglass hood world. Kenny has made, and is still making, some of Arctic Cat’s most iconic hood designs (Sno Pros etc). What a great first night!

That’s it for now. In the coming days Ill share the people, products and photos of Friday and Saturday’s show in a Part II and III. Enjoy! – Kale



  1. Great write-up! Wish I could’ve attended, but the drive from lower Michigan is a bit of a hurdle. The timing of the new platform teaser couldn’t have been better heading towards Haydays. I haven’t been this excited for the brand in awhile. I even hopped online and bought myself a new cap and t-shirt after the announcement! I look forward to parts 2 and 3!

  2. I kept wondering when there who had the display of King Kats (lead photo of this article) was good talking to you at the event I was the guy asking where the grass cat was Thanks for keeping us all informed of happenings associated with the A/C brand

  3. The new platform has been leaked out on freedom sledder. Looks like a Doo with Cat decals. I sure hope they don’t find any patten infringement on this one, because I don’t think AC could absorb another huge lawsuit.

    • Jim, I reviewed the video many times in past few days and even snapshot all views of that video. I changed the tune of colors, b/w, balance, sharper, blur, brighter, etc. I can see better. You are right from what I saw. The cowl itself look more like a Skidoo. When I first saw just on the cowl by the headlights which was the brightest and easiest to see, I see those lines.. it is too Ski-Doo. the frontage/top of the cowl looked awfully like the yellow brand when it first came out in 1969. That is what I see. but the windshield is very Arctic Cat-ish that are seen on current 2022/23 models. I do not see decals on the cowl, no.. Not after I did all the changes on the Youtube video the Cats’ channel showed on the teaser. I went on and check the tunnel and rear suspension and flap.. The suspension on the rear is kind of reminded me a little bit of 1979 TrailCat and on that brands had shocks on the outsides of the tunnels but more like Polaris Axis but not quite. A little different. It is kind of like hybrid between those 2 models/platform. I am a Freelance Designer and I came up with this as well similar far back as very late 1990s. I see the flap is quite interesting. Green trim on the sides of the flap and it appeared to be bend out kind of trying to be like a dirt bike mud guard. That concept also I came up in 1990s because I was trying to eliminate tunnel platform and more toward flap like for the rest to cover the track like a dirt bike. Plastics rather than aluminum. I see the bumper in the rear is more vertical than horizonal. It acts as both lift and to tuck in your baggage on the tunnel and the seat of course is short like all brands has now. But they also had a tiny bit of curve up on the back part of the seat. Remember I changed all that using my software. Reverse engineering if you want to call that.

  4. What great event. Those were some cream of the crop sleds. WOW.

    The only disappointment was with Textron.
    They didn’t have a single piece of memorabilia for sale with the 60th anniversary on it. Plus they permanently closed the company store in the lobby factory.

    • Keep in mind, the 60th Collector’s Show wasn’t an Arctic Cat corporate event. AC did pay for the rental of the Engelstad arena, which was awesome, very much appreciated, and one of the most expensive pieces of the puzzle to being able to pull that show off. Again, without AC (Textron) paying for the arena, there would not have been a show. The rest of the show was brought to you by volunteers, and of course, all the awesome display pieces from collectors.

      The 60th Anniversary shirts were sold out within the first couple hours of the show. If you’d like to purchase a shirt, you still can. There is going to be a second run made. Please email, They will take your payment and send you one through the mail. (ArcticInsider has nothing to do with the sales of the shirts, just helping with promotion)

      Not sure if you made it there, but Arctic Cat had a pretty kick-ass sale on ArcticWear (and MotorFist) in the Archery building by their corporate display on the fairgrounds. There was something for everyone there at incredible pricing, and smartly, it was held in a building that could accommodate a larger buying audience on the grounds vs at the factory.


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