SANDY CREEK Oswego County Fair Association officials are expressing optimism despite the cancellation of vintage snowmobile races scheduled for Saturday.
In an announcement on the associations website, the cancellation was blamed on the unusually warm weather.
With no frozen base, we cant make ice and create a track that is safe for participants, the notice read.
The races, first scheduled for Jan. 21, initially were postponed for a week in an attempt to wait for better weather. The races then were pushed back to Feb. 18 before finally being canceled.
Now its next year, said Anne M. Gibbs, the associations secretary.
She said the association had spent more than $1,500 to prepare the track and about $500 on food for the event. Mrs. Gibbs said some of the food will be given to nearby food shelters, while other products will be used at association events planned in the next few months.
She said planning for the event was a learning experience and the association will be able to put on a bigger event next year because of its planning for this years event.
Were coming out ahead, even if we cant have the race, Mrs. Gibbs said.
The races cancellation comes as other groups adjust to the warmer weather for their own snowmobile races.
Tracy F. Doyle, an event organizer with the Great Eastern Whiteout, Fulton, said planned races on Lake Neatahwanta had to be canceled because the ice wasnt thick enough to match standards set in the permit granted by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Mr. Doyle said the truncated event, held last weekend, still drew thousands for vintage and antique snowmobile displays.
We had great turnout, great feedback from everybody, he said.
He said the lack of frost prompted the moving of a snowmobile display from a football field to a different location to avoid damaging the field.
Organizers of the Boonville Snow Festival, set for Feb. 24 to 26, were confident they had enough ice to move forward with their races.
We are in full tilt, said Mark S. Bourgeois, one of the festivals coordinators. The event had been pushed back several times to adapt to the conditions.
We really went to work on building up more ice, said Cynthia J. Lee, another event organizer.
Organizers pulled off a few technological tricks to get their half-mile oval track ready.
Using a spray bar attachment to their repurposed liquid manure spreader, they were able to create a mist from water dispensed on the track. The mist froze much faster in the slightly warmer conditions than it would have had the track been flooded, and with less runoff, Mr. Bourgeois said.
He estimated that on colder days, about 2 inches of ice could be frozen on the track in a day.
The effort resulted in a layer of ice averaging about 8 inches thick around the track. He said barring a major rainfall, the race should be able to proceed on schedule.
Finally, he said.