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Group aims to break world record for largest snowmobile parade in Osceola

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OSCEOLA — In less than a six-month period, Lewis County may hold two world records.

A ride is being organized for Saturday, Feb. 1, by the Osceola Snowmobile Association with the hope of hosting 1,000 snowmobiles. That amount of participation would shatter the 2004 record of 820 riders in Wisconsin, according to the Guinness World Records website.

“The main emphasis is that this is a fundraiser for the club to stay alive,” ride organizer Douglas Nichols said.

In September, Lowville became home to the world’s largest cheesecake at 6,900 pounds, 7 feet 6.25 inches in diameter and 2 feet 7 inches tall.

The idea came to Mr. Nichols after a ride home from Tug Hill. He had always been looking for ways to raise funds for the association, which runs about $13,000 in the hole after covering the cost of the monthly groomer payment, fuel, insurance and trail maintenance. Mr. Nichols is the association’s vice president.

Registration is a $10 donation, which if the ride brings in 1,000 people will bring the association to its goal of $10,000.

Registration will begin at 9 that morning, with the ride beginning at noon.

Riders will take off from Cedar Pines Restaurant and Campground, 1132 Comins Road, and travel for 2.8 miles in a penned-in area with only one entrance and one exit. Mr. Nichols anticipates the ride from start to finish will take an hour.

Participants must wear a helmet and register before the run as well as check in afterward.

During the ride, volunteer stewards will be responsible for tracking 50 snowmobiles each. Stewards will take registration numbers, the make and model of the sled, the participant’s name and his phone number. The registration fee is per snowmobile, not rider.

“The parade must be at least two miles from the start to the finish points and there may not be more than a two-vehicle-length gap between vehicles,” said Sara Wilcox, public relations and marketing executive with Guinness World Records North America Inc. “Following the attempt, the association must send in witness statements, photos and video evidence for verification by the Guinness World Records team.”

“It’s got to all be videotaped, photographed,” Mr. Nichols said. “Local businesses have been outstanding for giveaways.”

An estimated $1,500 to $2,000 worth of items will be given away. Raffles will run every 10 minutes starting at 10 a.m.

Following the run there will be a hot dog roast. Participants are encouraged to arrive at the campgrounds on their snowmobiles, as truck and trailer parking is limited.

“We’re the snow capital of the East. East of the Rockies,” Mr. Nichols said. “If any place can do it, we can.”

The only concern is rain. But Mr. Nichols said that with the way things have been on the Tug Hill Plateau in the past and how the snow continues to come in, that should not be a problem.

Approval for the event has been arranged with Lewis County Parks and Recreation, the Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Medical Services.

Anyone interested in participating as a rider or a volunteer should contact Mr. Nichols as soon as possible by emailing dryrot@road runner.com.

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