Snowmobilers gathering in Fairmont

FAIRMONT — There may not be a better way to spend a summer weekend than camping at Fairmont’s own Flying Goose campground, and this weekend there are people out to prove it.

The Minnesota United Snowmobile Association is holding its summer campout today through Sunday, and has a busy schedule of events to entertain and educate.

The Blizzard Snowmobile Club is hosting, and members Greg and Nancy Gellert and Duffy Post discussed what will be taking place.

“Really, we started with the initial planning for this about two years ago,” Greg Gellert said. “There’s nine regions [throughout Minnesota] that we move around within our association. So this year everybody gets to come south to Fairmont.”

“We have about 115 people registered,” Nancy Gellert said. “We have one coming from Kansas, but otherwise they’re from all over Minnesota. Because Martin County is ‘Bacon Capital USA,’ we kind of centered it around that.”

For activities, the event includes a bean bag tournament, scavenger hunt, mini golf and a guided motorcycle ride. The ride ties in with an idea developed by the association’s president, Rod Siebel.

“He had the idea to challenge people to ride [motorcycles] from wherever they live to our winter rendezvous and summer campout,” Greg Gellert said. “There’s 11 bikes coming down with about 13 people, and then on Saturday they’re going to take a ride throughout Martin County and stop at a local establishment for lunch.

“There will also be a general membership meeting and directors meeting Saturday morning, and then we’ll have [city administrator] Mike Humpal coming out to welcome people to Fairmont. We’ll also have County Commissioner Kathy Smith and [State Rep.] Bob Gunther coming out.”

“There’s always a lot of work to be done, but we’re always told that we don’t have enough fun,” Post said. “So things like this are a big deal for us to have fun and show that it’s not all work. It’s a chance for people of like minds to get together and share their stories about interesting places they’ve been and to make more connections.

“We’re also having an auction,” Post said. “We’ve approached several different businesses and people and we’ve got some donations like a grill and a lighted snowmobile sign, and helmets and jackets. We’re not doing a lot, but the proceeds from that auction are going to go toward the veterans ride that the snowmobilers have every year.

“Different clubs sponsor that, and what they do is they ask any veteran that wants to ride to come and they don’t have to supply anything. They just come in and jump on a snowmobile to go for a nice ride and have a good meal.”

“MNUSA sponsors that, and they have suits and helmets for the veterans, and it’s all no cost to the veteran,” Greg Gellert said. “They can stay up one night that MNUSA pays for at a hotel. I also know that our American Legion donates to that and our club sponsors a veteran too.”

As far as the club itself, Greg Gellert said that while things are good, there is a push to recruit new members.

“The last couple of years attendance hasn’t been too good, and we’re trying to revive it and get it where it used to be. So we did a lot of social media and advertising.”

For those who would like to get involved with the Blizzard Snowmobile Club, Greg Gellert notes that people can look up the club on Facebook or check out its website at myblizzard-club.com