Related sites which covered this event include: Big Johnson Jeeps; Solberg's Vintage Snowmobiles; ASCOA's Iron Dog Tracks; MnUSA's Minnesota Snowmobiling; and Minnesota Bound.
Sponsored by the Cuyuna Range Chamber of Commerce, the Scorpion Homecoming was held in conjunction with the Chamber's long-standing ice fishing contest set aside Crosby's Memorial Park on Serpent Lake.
272 Scorpion snowmobiles were on display, the largest such grouping since 1980.
Circumnavigating Serpent Lake, more than 60 Scorpion snowmobiles completed the 2:00 PM trail ride.
The Sno-Serpents Snowmobile Club provided logistical support for traffic-flow and the 2:00 PM trail ride.
Trail-A-Sled, Inc. founders (later Scorpion Snowmobiles) Glen Gutzman and Dick Harrison were on hand as well as several former employees and racers.
The weekend also included a Saturday evening social hour, Sunday morning pancake breakfast and a driving tour of the firm's manufacturing campus and the company's original tin shed (circa 1958) in Crosby's Lakeview district. The tour featured light-hearted commentary from founders Glen Gutzman and Dick Harrison as well as former Scorpion dealer and racer Les Pinz. Dick's youngest son Randy provided a few important statistics.
Roughly 500 attendees were present for the Snowmobile display, most from out of town and many from out of state, including Wisconsin, Ontario, Montana and Florida. The combined events (Ice Fishing & Scorpion display) brought-in approximately 1,100 people. A major contributor to the large Scorpion turnout was a number of Internet discussion groups that were actively involved in promoting the event.
Machines displayed encompassed the entire gambit of Scorpion products and were also a wonderful chronology of snowmobile evolution in general. From the firm's early air-sled designs and early snowmobiles prototypes to various racing configurations, the hometown company's wares were proudly displayed.
The Chamber reported brisk sales of commemorative buttons.
The following awards were presented at 3:00 PM:
Peer's Choice - Jason Fuecker of Richmond, MN on a 1971 Mark II
People's Choice - Morris Krall of Stratford, WI on a 1975 Brut 440
Chamber's Choice - Lizzi Rasset of Buffalo, MN on a 1976 Lil' Whip
Media support was provided by legendary snowmobile publisher and author C.J. Ramstad (Minnesota Snowmobiling, City Sledder Magazine, Supertrax International among others), Ron Schara's Minnesota Bound television program, North Woods Images and others.
A follow-up event centered on Crosby-Ironton's July 4th parade is already in the planning stages. Given the large turnout, converting the Homecoming to an annual event is being seriously considered by the Chamber and local supporters.
Final Pre-Event Announcements
Final Update: February 3, 2005
Click here to review a map providing an overview of truck-trailer traffic to the Scorpion Display area. Please review this map and the information below:
- Given the recent thaw-freeze cycle, on-ice driving conditions are poor. As such, spectators are encouraged to park in the adjacent Memorial Park and surrounding side streets as needed and undertake a brief walk to both the Scorpion display and ice fishing areas.
- A dedicated on-ice parking area has been plowed specifically for the trucks/trailers of exhibitors. No spectators in this parking area please.
- Representatives of the Sno-Serpents will be assisting in the directing of traffic.
- Please check-in at the Scorpion support tent adjacent to the display area. Here you will receive a sled sign, a Peer's Choice ballot and optional name tag. At the support tent you will also be able to purchase Cuyuna Range Chamber of Commerce raffle tickets and Scorpion Homecoming buttons.
For Immediate Release:
CUYUNA RANGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES EXPANDED ANNUAL ICE FISHING CONTEST
February 5 & 6, 2005 - Crosby, Minn.
The Cuyuna Range Chamber of Commerce is expanding their long-standing Annual Ice Fishing Contest to also include a very special snowmobile event this year ... Scorpion Homecoming - Exhibition & Trail Ride. Commemorating the Cuyuna Range's central role in the development of the snowmobile, this first-ever gathering will bring together collectors, racers and former Scorpion employees for a weekend of memories among a wonderful display of these marvelous homegrown machines. Ranging from the early air-sleds of the 1950's to the firm's final production run for 1981, a wide variety of locally built snowmobiles will be presented adjacent to the ice fishing contest on picturesque Serpent Lake. All are encouraged to attend - and bring your Scorpions!
Scorpion Homecoming is a casual, free and fun display-only event. No judging will be conducted. No provisions are being made for swap or race activities. Attendees are however encouraged to support the Chamber by purchasing a raffle ticket for $1.00 or $5.00 (excellent prizes awarded need not be present to win), patronizing the concessionaires and purchasing a very special Scorpion Homecoming commemorative button.
Let's bring together more Scorpions than the Cuyuna Range has seen in twenty-five years! All Scorpions, as well as Scorpion-manufactured brands are welcome, including Trail-A-Sled, Sno-Ro, Sears, Sno-Craft, Brut and Massey-Ferguson.
Machines need not run to be displayed. For safety reasons, propeller-driven air-sleds will NOT be operated during the event.
National television media is expected to be in attendence.
Lead by the Sno-Serpents Snowmobile Club, an optional low-speed trail ride will circumnavigate Serpent Lake from 2:00 - 2:45 PM on Saturday.
Several awards will be presented, including Peer's Choice (voted by fellow exhibitors), People's Choice (voted by the general public), and Chamber's Choice (voted by the Cuyuna Range Chamber of Commerce). The awards will be presented by our MC at 3:00 PM in the ice-fishing area.
Interested in attending this event? If so, please aid the Chamber's planning by clicking here to send us an informational Email. In the body of the Email please indicate: 1) name, 2) number of persons, 3) number of snowmobiles, 4) your Scorpion connection (e.g. former employee, collector, racer, vendor), and 5) which segments you plan on attending (e.g. display, trail ride, social hour, breakfast).
All events are open to the public - spectators are welcome!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2005
- Display Set-Up 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
- Display 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
- Hamburgers, hot dogs & chili available - sponsored by the Cuyuna Range Lions (nominal fee)
- Trail Ride 2:00 - 2:45 PM
- Conclusion 3:00 PM
- Award presentations by Dallas Kurt Smith of KKIN Radio's The Morning Show
- Social Hour 4:30 PM - 1:00 AM
- 5:00 - 7:00 PM Sloppy-Joes available in the Legion dining hall - sponsored by the Legion Auxiliary (nominal fee)
- Children below 18 years of age are allowed
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2005
- Pancake Breakfast 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
- Sponsored by the Ironton Fire Department Auxiliary (nominal fee)
- Area Driving Tour 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM (departs from Ironton Legion)
OUTDOOR DISPLAY DETAILS
- A dedicated display area will be set-up adjacent to the ice fishing area on Serpent Lake just offshore from Memorial Park.
- All on-ice parking and activities are at your own risk. Ample city street parking is available near the event.
- The display area is reserved specifically for Trail-A-Sled, Scorpion and other brands directly manufactured by such.
- Local ride-in sleds are encouraged!
- A sled sign and Peer's Choice ballot will be provided to each Scorpion displayed.
- Spectators are welcome
- Crosby, Minnesota located on the eastern edge of the Brainerd Lakes Area (115 miles north of Minneapolis, 90 miles west of Duluth, 15 miles northwest of Brainerd)
- Crosby's Memorial Park on the northwestern shores of Serpent Lake (Highway 210)
TRAIL RIDE DETAILS
- Led by the Sno-Serpents Snowmobile Club, this optional event leaves the display area at 2:00 PM and returns by 2:45 PM (at latest)
- Completely on-ice, this low-speed ride will circumnavigate Serpent Lake (approximately 8 total miles)
- Support vehicles will be provided by the Sno-Serpents
- Assuming safe ice conditions, the ride will proceed with or without snow
- Participants below the age of 18 are subject to Minnesota's helmet law
- Vintage snowmobiles (25 years old or greater) are exempt from state license requirements while participating in this event
SOCIAL HOUR, PANCAKE BREAKFAST & DRIVING TOUR DETAILS
- Ironton American Legion, 232 4th St, Ironton, MN (roughly one mile west of Memorial Park on Highway 210).
- Scorpion memorabilia will be on display both Saturday evening and Sunday morning, including extremely rare racing footage, television commercials and out-takes.
- A brief driving tour will depart from the Ironton American Legion at 11:30 AM. Stops include the original Trail-A-Sled, Inc. assembly building (circa 1958), the firm's manufacturing campus (circa 1968 - 1980), and an exceptional local Scorpion collection (refreshments provided).
- For lodging and dining information, see the Chamber's Resort & Lodging page. Extensive alternative lodging is also available in the Brainerd-Baxter area, 16 miles southwest of Crosby-Ironton on Highway 210.