The World Championship Derby Complex just pulled off a stunning feat in the midst of a pandemic and personnel shortage, putting together an enormous vintage racing event and the 59th annual world-title oval event on back-to-back weekends.

Oval racers from across the Midwest were elated to be here for the oldest, grandest show in snowmobile racing history, and they expressed those thoughts from the winner’s circle on both weekends. So once again they’ve put Eagle River on the national map, the big reason that this city is known as the Snowmobile Capital of the World.

Much of the credit goes to an impressive cast of community-minded volunteers, many of whom have been part of running the Derby for decades. Without them, many of them racing fans who just want to make the event better, this world championship event would not be sustainable longterm.

The Vintage World Championships brought nearly 700 entries and above-average spectator attendance in a year when Canadian racers were again a no-show due to the pandemic. The World Championship Snowmobile Derby drew thousands, offering both indoor and outdoor viewing.

This newspaper works hard to support the event because of its rich history and the enormous boost it gives to the tourism industry. This is nearly six decades and three generations of tradition between family members and friends during Derby Weekend.

The Derby legacy continues and the Canadian racers will be back next year for the 60th running of this famed world-class event.

Another incredible castle by firefighters, volunteers

Community pride and volunteerism have taken center stage once again here, as members of the Eagle River Area Fire Department and other volunteers just completed construction of yet another incredible ice castle.

The castle will become the city’s centerpiece for the winter season, the subject of thousands of photographs for sure. It was built with more than 700 man-hours of labor and 2,000 blocks of solid ice, the total weight of which is estimated at 80 tons.

We’d like to thank those who took from their highly-valued free time to help cut and harvest the ice blocks that were then transported, shaped and placed according to another master design from the city’s former fire chief, the late Jack Thomas.

Praise also goes to the business owners and individuals who provided food, drink and tools for the workers free of charge.

Behind the editorial ‘we’

   Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, News Editor Michelle Drew, Assistant Editor Eric Johnson and reporter Doug Etten.