BROWNVILLE JUNCTION, Maine – Twelve to 15 dogsled teams, a few hundred people and frozen turkeys that will roll or slide like bowling balls are expected at the fourth Maine Highlands Sled Dog Club “Brownville and Beyond” race on Saturday, organizers said.
That’s right: Frozen turkeys.
The idea, club volunteer publicity coordinator Emilie Johnson said, is to pitch a frozen turkey at outdoor soda bottles set up like bowling pins at the other end of a makeshift bowling lane.
“We’re talking about frozen turkeys that are maybe 8 to 10 pounds,” Johnson said Thursday. “Apparently it is huge fun to everybody who has tried it.”
Not that Johnson expects to be one of them.
“On a personal level, I have problems with throwing food,” she said wryly.
The 30-mile race will feature the dozen or so teams from Canada to Maryland riding the 110 Connector, an Interconnected Snowmobile Trail that links Brownville and Greenville and runs through the Junction. Most of the racers ride the circuit of dogsled races held in Maine and Canada.
One of the fun elements of the event, Johnson said, is how it allows close contact between sled drivers and fans.
“It is a chance to get out and enjoy winter beyond motorized sports,” Johnson said.
About 20 club volunteers help keep the race running as timers, race marshals, trail and dog yard help, said Allan Thomas, president of the club.
The event will run from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Railroad Avenue rail yard, Thomas said. The public is invited to attend. The event is free except for donations collected at meals and various events, he said.
If the weather holds, that is. Warmer weather and a lack of snow have caused the cancellation of three events in the past four years. This year’s weather looks like it will be perfect, Johnson said.