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Pictured is the 2019 Midwest Vintage Snowmobile Show at Lake Waconia Regional Park. (File photo)

Recent and upcoming changes to Lake Waconia Regional Park have affected at least one event held annually at the local venue.

Midwest Vintage Snowmobile Shows (MVSS) announced a few weeks ago that its annual ride-in will be moved to ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minn., starting in 2020.

Formerly known as the Waconia Ride-In that had been held on the shores of Lake Waconia for the past 25 years, next year’s event will be called the Midwest Ride-In, and is scheduled for Jan. 24-26, 2020. It is billed as the world’s largest vintage, antique and classic snowmobile event.

“There were several factors that led to relocating the Ride-In, but one of the most significant was impending changes to the host site,” John Zeglin, the event’s co-chair for over 25 years, said in a news release. “We had a number of outstanding options, but hosting a show of our size has become very challenging. We really needed a partner and location with large event experience. ERX is a venue in our back yard that caters to snowmobilers and it allows MVSS to continue to support the snowmobile clubs and trail associations that have supported us so strongly over the years. Our committee felt it was extremely important to maintain that connection with our local clubs.”

ERX is an all-season motorsports and events facility located on the north end of Elk River, on U.S. Highway 169. It is the home of Grassroots Snocross and cross- country snowmobile racing, also dirt bike and off-road racing, concerts, corporate events, monster trucks, rodeo and more.

“The ERX complex stretches over 400 acres, includes multiple tracks, 10-plus miles of rolling wooded trails and a fantastic indoor facility that allows us to continue our popular Saturday night banquet with guest speakers and large display,” Zeglin said.

“The Waconia Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau was disappointed to hear that the MWVSS has decided to move their show to Elk River for 2020, but we know the organization was faced with many unknowns at their Waconia location for 2020.,” said Chamber president Kellie Sites. “We are hopeful that as the Lake Waconia Regional Park completes the work that needs to get done, we will get the Ride-In back in Waconia. The economic impact for Waconia and Carver County is quite important for us in the winter and we know that the people who attend the show love the people and amenities here.”

Carver County Parks officials expressed the same disappointment and hope.

“While we are disappointed that the Midwest Vintage Snowmobile Show chose to move to a different location for 2020, the county will continue to work with them and the Waconia Chamber of Commerce to have the event return,” said Marty Walsh, Parks & Recreation director. “Part of the long-term vision of the Lake Waconia Regional Park development plan is to serve event groups better. County officials thank the MVSS event coordinators for many great years and wish them well in this year of transition.”

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