June 18, 2018
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Vintage snowmobile show, rides and swap meet set in Merrill

By Gloria Austin, Houlton Pioneer Times

MERRILL, Maine — A vintage snowmobile show and riding event Saturday will double as a swap-and-sell meet, according to organizers.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Merrill Stream Park.

“People have called and wanted to know if they could bring their old sleds if they had them for sale,” said Ralph Bartman, Merrill Stream Park committee member. “And, if you are looking to buy an old sled, come along.”

Though the committee never thought about adding the swap and sell, they were agreeable to add it.

Those attending can bring their vintage restored snowmobile — 15 years or older — and receive a participation prize. The event is all about “Beating the Winter Blues” with old-fashioned fun, organizers said.

“We will have games and prizes for children, sliding contests on old-fashioned sleds, and many other games to entertain the children,” said Merrill Town Manager Candy Nevers.

There will be free hot chocolate, and for a nominal fee, burgers, hot dogs and chili.

“This is our first time out of the gate,” said Bartman. “Our plan is to turn this activity into an annual event. We just want to keep building on it. It’s hard to do everything your first time.”

The Merrill Stream Park committee is hoping to make the ride-in as popular as their cruise-in held over Labor Day weekend.

“The cruise-in has continued to grow,” said Bartman. “It’s been a great hit, and we’ve managed to make a little money. Last year, we had a lobster feed during the cruise-in and that drew a big crowd.”

With funds raised from the cruise-in, the committee was able to purchase children’s playground equipment for the park.

Bartman and the Mill Stream Park committee are not sure of how many will be on hand for that day.

“We put the word out and we are hoping for the best,” Bartman said.

One gentleman from Millinocket will be there with his rare gem.

“He is supposed to bring a Model-T snowmobile, which he has restored, and give rides,” said Bartman. “Other guys are bringing old sleds that are restored to show condition, who are going to give rides, as well.”

The event will be coordinated and run by the Merrill Stream Park committee.

“It will all be done by volunteers,” said Bartman. “The fire department will give us a hand, too.”

For snowmobilers looking for access, Bartman said the park is not hooked onto the ITS trails, but the trail is handy to the park. There is ATV access to the park.

For information, call Ralph Bartman at 757-8411 or the Smyrna/Merrill town office at 757-8286.

All proceeds of the event will go to Merrill Stream Park fund to help with maintenance.

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