by Steve Landon
Quite frankly the winter of 2022/2023 has been a flat out disappointment for winter sports enthusiasts and business people who rely on tourism to get through the slow months. Cancellation has become the most dreaded word these folks have heard this year. Well it was used again Wednesday night when the Marion Vintage Snowmobile Club officially pulled the plug on the 2023 Marion Snowfest set for February 18th at the Marion Fairgrounds / Veterans Freedom Park.
Despite a tremendous effort volunteers could not drive enough frost into the clay based oval to get it to freeze hard enough to build a good ice oval intime to get this year’s event off.
“We have some bad spots on the track that we cannot get to freeze up. There are some very wet areas down at the park. We can’t get enough frost pounded in the ground in these wet areas and the water just keeps coming back up. It was five degrees the other night, those three areas had a top layer of ice and then open water under it. It was warmer yesterday (Wednesday) and it didn’t freeze as it set all day. The next three days look like ice making weather and then next week it’s going to be too warm for us to get anything to freeze up plus some rain is in the forecast from what we see. We have a very rough track right now. There is just not enough time and cold weather for us to build a safe ice oval to race on. I’m sorry we had to cancel but as a club we thought this was the best move to make. I felt our backs have been against the wall this year with the warm temperatures and very wet springs. That track is all clay, I’m not sure if everyone knows that and how wet the area is down there. We have natural springs that keep the ground saturated. If it’s cold we can get frost, we usually don’t have a problem” – Club President Dave Swiler said.
If Mother Nature is willing the Marion Snowfest will be back in 2024.