A seventeen-year tradition in the capital region, this year’s Capital Region Snowmobile Toy Ride was postponed until January 18 due to the warm weather that melted the planned course along Highway 21 causing unsafe sledding conditions.
Rudy Haak, founder and organizer of the Ride, changed the name to ‘Capital Region Snowmobile Toy Ride’ from the former ‘Santa’s Toy Ride’ and sees the name is slowly adopted by the participants and the snowmobile dealers across the region who have helped promote the event each year. In the first year of the ride, an amazing 200 riders converged on the Haak farm, just half a mile South of Hay Lakes, three miles East of Highway 21.
In the past three years, the ride had to be pushed to a January date. Last year, the December run was postponed due to frigid temps of minus 25, then the January date offered unseasonal weather and a great melt so it was sadly, altogether cancelled. Full of enthusiasm, Rudy Haak, friends and members of the Tri-County Snowmobile Club are looking forward to great numbers for the January date, as the weather so far has not been very kind to the enthusiastic fans of this fun winter sport and their families.
The Tri-County Snowmobile Club is a vital participant and supporter of this fun charity ride. The Club looks after the necessary permits and plans all the details of the ride. Snowmobile drivers only need to be older than fourteen and bring their donations of toys, food and cash for the Santa’s Helpers organization and for the Leduc Food Bank. Drivers must also bring their driver’s licenses, registrations and proof of insurance of course. As the Ride is now planned for January, toys will be stored until next Christmas giving the charities plenty of time to organize and wrap the toys. Families are welcome and there is no entry fee. Tri-County Snowmobile Club is composed of sledding fans from the counties of Leduc, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Strathcona and the Edmonton region. Ideal conditions for snowmobile activities are mild to reasonably cold weather and plenty of snow.
The Ride starts at the Haak farm near Range Road 125, rides North in the West ditch along Highway 21 to the Highway 625 Nisku turn-off, then heads back for a fun BBQ gathering, with hot dogs, hot beverages and no alcohol, as safety is a top priority for snowmobilers. With sufficient notice and a small prayer for ideal conditions, snowmobilers wanting to participate in the Capital Region Snowmobile Toy Ride can contact Rudy Haak at 780-953-4225 and mark January 18 in their 2015 calendar.