Race to town for wintertime fun and racing excitement at the
Tuscola County Fairgrounds in Michigan's great Thumb Area.
COVID Impacts Cancellation of 2021 Caro Winter Fest
Planning a seasonal, weather-dependent event is hard enough. Add in a virus pandemic and it makes it even more challenging. This challenge was too big of a risk for the organizers of the Caro Winter Fest (CWF). The event which was scheduled for February 13 and 14, 2021, at the Tuscola County Fairgrounds in Caro has been cancelled.
“Looking at the current mandates set by the State, we would be prohibited from holding the event,” said Kris Reinelt, CWF Board President & Marketing Liaison. “It’s disappointing to have to cancel but amidst the ongoing pandemic and uncertainties of what protocols may or may not be in place come February, the Board has voted to postpone the event until 2022.”
This is the third year in a row the event has been cancelled. In order to hold the races, there needs to be consistent below freezing temperatures for ideally several weeks in advance of the event in order to build the ice race track. In 2019 and 2020, Mother Nature won the race and forced cancellation.
“We’re accustomed to dealing with the unknown of the weather but this year we felt as if we were facing a double-edged sword,” Reinelt said. “Every time we cancel it’s a loss for the community and our funding dollars.”
The event is organized solely by volunteers and funding comes primarily from sponsorships. In a typical year, the cost to hold the event exceeds $35,000 which is covered from sponsorships and sales of entry tickets, merchandise, raffles, and beer and wine sales. When the event is cancelled the Board provides sponsors with the option to receive a refund or rollover their sponsorship dollars.
Reinelt shared the Board was concerned about having to rely on sponsor dollars in a time when many in the community and business sector have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
“It’s not a money-making event. Most years we just breakeven,” Reinelt said. “We had to consider the ‘what if’ we couldn’t raise the necessary funds or how we’d refund sponsorships dollars if we used the funds for pre-event expenses; sadly, the risk was too great.”
The Caro Winter Fest has been taking place since 2009 and features snowmobile races overseen by the Midwest International Racing Association (MIRA) and includes a full sprint racing program on Saturday and 250-lap pro-enduro on Sunday. Teams come from all across Michigan, Canada, and the Midwest. On average there are a couple dozen teams that show up with their pit crews, family members, and fans; along with close to 3,000 spectators in the grandstands and Warming Tent. The event also includes a day-long chainsaw carving competition on Saturday and live entertainment, food vendors, and winter fun all weekend long.
As the CWF Board now moves on to planning the 2022 event, they wish to extend their thanks for the community’s ongoing support; especially, from the City of Caro, Tuscola County Fair Board, and their many sponsors and volunteers.
Any questions, contact Kris Reinelt at (810) 569-6856.
Click here to read/download the media alert press release.
This is truly a community event as it comes to life only through the support of the organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and many others.
Held annually in February at
the Tuscola County Fairgrounds.
Teams from all over the
Midwest and Canada.