5th Annual Snowmobile Ride tour stops in Merrill
Ride With The Cup promotes safe snowmobiling and tourism
BY TINA L. SCOTT
On Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, the 5th Annual Snowmobile Ride tour stopped in Merrill, one of nearly two dozen stops on a two-day tour that began in Wausau and ended on Jan. 19 in Eagle River. encompassing more than 200 miles altogether. What began in 2019 as a Torch Tour evolved this year into the Ride With The Cup.
Snowmobile clubs literally Ride With The Cup, a replica of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby Championship Cup, taking it from community to community with the assistance and sponsorship of clubs, businesses, and event supporters along the way, culminating in the Cup’s arrival in Eagle River at the start of the Annual Opening Ceremony of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby at the World Championship Derby Complex in Eagle River Friday evening.
This year 16 snowmobile clubs, various Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Bureaus, and businesses throughout central and northern Wisconsin participated. Along the route, the replica Cup is passed along from snowmobile club to snowmobile club, with each taking it a little further along the leg of the journey.
In addition to signifying the kickoff of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby with the Cup’s arrival, the 5th Annual Snowmobile Ride and Ride With The Cup is a public awareness campaign with a mission: To promote safe snowmobiling in Central and Northern Wisconsin along with tourism highlighting what Northern Wisconsin has to offer.
Sponsorships also assist with providing youth snowmobiling safety classes for new youth coming into the sport.
In Merrill, the Cup handoff came at DuWayne Kreager Insurance Center where the Wisconsin Valley Sno Jets Snowmobile Club passed the replica trophy Cup to the L&L Tree Dodgers who then took the Cup up the line to Tomahawk for the handoff to the Knight Owls Snowmobile Club. This year due to weather and lack of snow, the tour went by truck and trailer and used the snowmobiles upon arriving at the World Championship Derby Complex on Friday night to complete their official lap around the track to signify the start of the event.