Yes, the biggest story of the weekend was the Saturday traffic jam to get there. It would be comical were it not so extraordinarily frustrating for thousands and thousands of people. Reports of a 10-15-mile line of traffic… people waiting an hour just to move 100 yards… and even ONE person uttering an f-bomb… emerged. Around 1pm on Saturday, Minn. State Patrol essentially “shut down” any further hopes of attending and told people to turn around and go home. Not good.
Hard to say if there was enough parking or not? As an aside, getting to Haydays on Sunday was a snap. I arrived at 10 am, driving straight to the parking entrance without one extra second of traffic.
Once you did get into to the new digs, it was business-as-usual, with a feast for your eyes, ears and nose. One of the first things to capture my attention was this Jag/M sled, built by Todd Hunter of Sly Dog.
For me, the best part of Haydays has always been the swap meet, so that’s where I spent a major chunk of the weekend. This custom 793 Panther explains why the swap is the cultural epicenter of this massive event.
Who says that engineering stalled on on leaf-spring racers? Sleds like this absolutely thrill me. Do they have the same affect on 20-somthings?
Haydays is loaded with diamonds amongst the rubble. This stunning ’73 Arctic Cat el tigre is one of dozens of examples.
Same goes for these sensational Arctic Cat EXTs. Lovely.
I love the beauties and beasts in equal measure. This little number merged the work/play sensibilites of a Grass Cat/Arctic Cat, and could be ridden away for a measly $800.
The ditch banger specials were going for a paltry sum. Maybe not all would-be buyers agreed that these two were destined for ditch approaches?
Yep, Haydays and other swaps are wonderful because they’re a trip back in time. Walking past this colorful M-10 rear suspension, I was whisked away to 1992. Anyone think that neon pink, purple and green are ripe for a comeback?
I’m not sure I’m ready for neon, but I’d love a reprisal of Arctic Cat minibikes. I wonder how many road rashes this little number caused for helmetless lads in the ’70s?
I’m amazed at the number of hoods, seats and suspensions some of the swappers have. Are these swappers getting parts from insurance companies or something? Seriously, how do they accumulate such inventories?
“Dad, I want to race Kitty Cats on the oval circuit this year, but only if it’s on an immaculate repro of a 1979 Sno Pro.”
Rain on Friday night prior to the event caused a wee bit of moisture in some of the swap’s low-lying areas. It dried out by mid-day on Saturday, with only 17 people having fallen face-first in the muck. The average BAC of these face-planters was 0.14.
There’s plenty to eat at Haydays, although the food prices sometime seem a little steep. But there are always less-expensive options for food in the swap, like this aged cheddar that was selling for $5/pound. Tasty.
Haydays has long been an outlet for “lightly ridden” race sleds. These Arctic Cat Sno Pros from the Sobeck crew did battle last season in USCC cross-country.
Lots to see at Haydays. Just don’t make eye-contact with some of the people.
Haydays has a deserved reputation for having a lot of junk sellers, as well as vendors who are pedalling non-sled stuff. When space is limited, there should be a qualification that all vendors/sellers have snowmobile stuff. This guy was all tired out by Sunday.
Race transporters like this puppy from Christian Bros. Racing have been part of the Haydays spectacle for the past decade. Lots of dealing, contract conversations and snowmobile racing culture to absorb in the “race team area.” And lots of racers claiming they’ve been training all summer.
The Fox Shox booth has a lot of traffic. Jim (left) from sledRacer.com and Mark (right) from Fox share a laugh about their days at Sno-X magazine.
Haydays is the de facto Minnesota snowmobile show, and it’s always great to see people “kicking the tires” and figuring out how to convince mom that a new sled is needed for the coming winter.
Thomas Sno Sports always has good deals on sleds and clothing, plus something from their mind-boggling collection of collectable Cats. Plus owner Tom is likely one of the most knowledgeable people you will ever meet. And the nicest.
Likewise, the folks from Country Cat were dealin’ all weekend long on new and used stuff.
Todd Sandberg (no relation) built this custom Arctic Cat ATV as a tribute/memorial to all of the Minnesota soldiers who have given their life in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It was on display in the Speedwerx booth.
Speaking of which, lots of traffic at Speedwerx as is usual. The 730cc Kit for the Sno Pro 500 is now truly complete and running. Yes, we’re going to ride it.
Legendary oval and ice lemans racer Mike Houle was hanging out briefly in the Speedwerx booth, wearing the colors of his favorite companies. Mike is still involved with oval racing, building and setting up sleds for several top Ski-Doo racers.
People watching is a Haydays highlight. This guy was going to kick my butt until I told him that I’d make him famous. I learned long ago not to mess with Texas.
I don’t want to start anything, but this is the guy who is singlehandedly responsible for the Saturday traffic jam at Haydays. His name is Rodney, and he’s really into draggan’. More importantly, however, he runs one of the THE COOLEST racing circuits in the free world, with the most entertaining snowmobile Website on the planet (yes, even more entertaining than arcticinsider). Is it just me, or does he look like a blind person with a walking stick?
The grass drags remain central to the Haydays experience. Arctic Cat racers did their fair share of winning (I’ll make a separate post when the race results are made known).
Lots to dream and wish for at the Arctic Cat booth.
The 1 Millionth Arctic Cat (a Crossfire 800 LE) was on display in the Arctic Cat booth.
The always-popular Team Arctic autograph signing was especially cool this year, with a backdrop of winning Sno Pro sleds parked behind them.
Bret Rasmussen was WAY busy all weekend long, booking Ride Rasmussen Style riding schools for the coming winter and answering questions about his sweet turbo’d M8.
There was much hype about a big announcement at the Arctic Cat booth on Saturday.
To help with the hype, free tuxedo t-shirts were given away to the crowd. Someone-who-shall-remain-nameless accidentally rifled one at Andy from Snow Goer magazine. Sorry Andy.
The t-shirts were to help celebrate a historic wedding, between Mother Nature and Arctic Blast Guy.
The ceremony was interrupted by Team Arctic’s Tucker Hibbert, who announced to the crowd that he will contest the entire ISOC National Snocross circuit this season! Not surprisingly, the crowd cheered the news. Then Tucker threw down a killer rendition of “Honkey Tonk Woman” by the Rolling Stones, and the crowd went CRAZY.
Thanks for reading, folks.
(To see a 3-minute news video about the Haydays traffic fiasco, watch THIS. )