This last weekend Editor Mark Savage and myself were up in Thief River Falls, Minnesota celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Arctic Cat snowmobiles.
Arctic Cat's 50th marks a milestone which began in 1961 when Edgar Hetteen founded Polar Manufacturing in Thief River Falls.
Cat rolled out the red carpet to the community in Thief River Falls, its home town, along with every Cat fan from around the world.
Vintage and antique Arctic Cat snowmobiles, mini-bikes, clothing and accessories filled two full hockey arenas. I even got the chance to sit inside one of the iconic Boss Cat racers.
Tucker Hibbert was on hand all weekend signing autographs and talking to fans in his race trailer and at his booth.
We were lucky enough to spend some time with Tucker and several other historic Cat racers on Friday at a press event at the local trap shooting club. Myself, Editor Mark Savage, Cat Race Manager Mike Kloety, engineer Kevin Shindler, former racer Jim Dimmerman, Cat's P.R. rep Kale Wainer, Tucker, and numerous other media reps did our best to keep up with some top local shotgun shooters.
A 'Cat-only' swap meet made finding what you needed for your old Cat sled easy. We also saw plenty of rare memorabilia around at great prices.
Each night the Cat fans enjoyed free live music, plenty of great food... and a good time was had by all!
ATV and UTV test track was set up for anyone to take a free test ride on the new Arctic Cat vehicles.
Roger Skime wears one of his original racing suits.
50 years of Arctic Cat clothing were displayed in a fashion show. Arctic Cat celebs even participated. Legendary Cat engineer Roger Skime actually wore one of his original racing suits, and up and coming snocross racer Kyle Pallin showed off some interesting retro duds as well. (We will have more fashion show photos up soon!)
While there was plenty to see and do we thought we would give you a few highlights here in photos.
The new Wildcat off-road vehicle was introduced to hundreds of excited Cat loyalists.
The Pink Ribbon Riders were also raffling off a brand new Arctic Cat sled and building awareness and support for breast cancer. They will be selling tickets at several of the upcoming fall shows including the AmSnow Super Sled Shootout in Martin, Michigan on September 24th-25th.
View more photos from this event at our special "Arctic Cat's 50th Anniversary" photo gallery.
By Mark Boncher, Senior editor of American Snowmobiler