In keeping with the true spirit of life in Tumbler Ridge, organizers for this years dog sled races are keeping the dream alive by looking for an alternative site to host this popular event, which has traditionally been held at out local Golf Course.
Since anticipation was high for the dog races, scheduled for the Winterfest weekend, race organizers decided to make sure the community would not be disappointed by rescheduled the races, rather than completely canceling them. The race dates have been changed once again, in order not to conflict with events already planned by our local snow mobile club. The new dates for the races will be March 26-27 and if snow conditions do not permit us to host them at the Golf Course, we will have them out at the Core Lodge.
While this warm weather has all but removed every trace of snow within the community, there is still plenty of the white stuff out in the mountains. Tumbler Ridge is fortunate to be situated close to some of the finest snowmobiling country in Northern British Columbia, so it made sense to look at hosting the event this year out in snowmobile country. This poses some concerns for mushers, as snowmobiles and dogs do not always mix, but organizers are confident they can work out the details to minimize the impacts each group might have on the other.
The enthusiasm and support from the business community has been outstanding, as members of our newly formed Chamber of Commerce have been great in facilitating the requirements of hosting such an event. Their generosity will certainly make this an event to be remembered by the mushers, who have been inquiring about the races from as far away as Salmo, BC and Calgary, Alta. Poor snow conditions have cancelled races in a number of regions across Western Canada, so any areas having a glint of snow left are being looked at, so mushers can get one last race in before the snow leaves.
Hillside Poultry Farms of Wembley Alberta have generously donated a huge skid of dog food for the event and Tumbler Ridge Energy Services (TRES) has been the largest cash donor for this years races. Sponsorships have also been received from a number of local and regional businesses, helping to enhance the prize money. The Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society have also been very supportive in making sure this event gets every possible chance to succeed.
These businesses and organizations have extended they generosity to support this exciting event, which takes a considerable number of volunteers and resources to host, and so far the community has risen to the challenge. This is part of the tenacious attitude, which is characteristic of the folks who live and play in Tumbler Ridge.
The success of this event depends largely on the weather and participant attendance, so if the weather holds, the community is encouraged to come out and enjoy what has become an annual part of winter life in Tumbler Ridge. Tumbler Ridge has the potential of becoming a Class A venue for a variety of winter sports in the region, and it is the hope of race organizers to see this community become a preferred destination for all types of outdoor enthusiasts.