The 44th World Championship Snowmobile Derby starts officially tomorrow, kicking off with the vintage snowmobile races. As the derby track in Eagle River expects crowds of over 30,000 fans, the inseparable combination of winter and snowmobile racing has begun to fire up those dedicated to the sport.
But did you know that the first snowmobile derby was held on February 9, 1964 on Dollar Lake in Eagle River? News of the "World's First Snowmobile Derby" was released into the Midwestern media and the new concept of a winter sport attracted between 2,000 and 3,000 people, surprising even the sponsors of the event. Although a "world champion" was not announced, first honors went to an eighth-grader from Crandon, WI named Stan Hayes. Hayes had never driven a snowmobile before.
The Eagle River Derby grew, and now has become the winter highlight for many fans across the world. Come join us as we cheer on those racers!