Upper Michigan Ice Racing Association hosts first ice races

GWINN, Mich. (WLUC) - A new Saturday tradition started in Gwinn this weekend.

The Upper Michigan Ice Racing Association held their first races near the Forsyth Township Ball Field.

It was a day full of racing for all ages and classes. Dirt bikes and four wheelers raced around the quarter mile land track at speeds up to 65 mph.

Volunteers like Jon Kay helped to make the day a huge success despite sub-zero wind chill values. He hopes to make these ice races a new Saturday tradition for locals and visitors alike.

"Overall it's a good turnout. We race every Saturday. 9:30 AM is registration. 10:30 is practice and noon is racing. So we invite everybody to come on down and enjoy. You can watch from your car so you can stay warm," Kay declared.

Spectators are welcome. The entry fee is a $5 donation per car load. You can also enter the pits for $10.

If you'd like to race, get there early. And racing isn’t just for grown-ups.

“We run 110, 100cc four wheelers, even 90s. And its' great out there. Usually we'll get 12 or 14 kids out there and it's just a blast. And they love it. That's the biggest thing for us. Is getting the kids out here and enjoying something to do in the wintertime when there's not many options,” Kay continued.

If you’ve never noticed all the activity in the past, you may not be alone. This track is brand new. 14 months ago the whole area was undeveloped woodland according to Kay.

"Everybody in our group got together and we decided we wanted to do this. We approached the Township they agreed. They have been very helpful. All the sponsors made this thing happen and a lot of people came out here and we cleared this whole area. We stumped it. We leveled it. We're so thankful to the town of Gwinn and to Forysth Township and everybody who's been a part of this and helped us out," Kay announced.

Kay says racing will continue every Saturday until the ice is gone.

Click here to visit the Upper Michigan Ice Racing Association's Facebook page.

To find the race track, head south on Johnson Lake Rd from M-35, kitty corner from Gwinn High School. Pass the Forsyth Township Ball Park and turn left before the Forsyth TWP water tower.