Vikings' Arctic Blast coming next weekend

Despite a lack of snow for late January, the Vikings will be hosting the 20th Annual Arctic Blast Snowmobile Rally Feb. 6-8 in Thief River Falls, Minn. The event will bring together current and former Vikings greats to raise money for the Vikings Children's Fund.

Preparation is underway for the 20th Annual Minnesota Vikings Arctic Blast Snowmobile Rally, which starts next Friday and runs through Sunday, Feb. 8, in Thief River Falls, Minn. Hundreds of details great and small are being finalized, but one big hurdle that they can’t get past – the complete lack of snow throughout most of Minnesota.

While the rally can technically be held on a lake, typically they include rides along snowmobile trails and heavily traveled areas. But the Winter of 2014-15 in Minnesota has been anything but typical.

At a time when Bostonians are still digging out from under a 3-foot dump of snow from Snowicane Juno, many areas of Minnesota haven’t received much more than a foot of snow the entire winter season. Most areas have seen only one significant snowstorm and, aside from that, snowmobiling has been effectively an afterthought in Minnesota with small snowstorms of an inch here or an inch there being the norm.

Compounding the bizarre winter of 2014-15, is that what little snow has fallen in Minnesota comes on the heels of a year when the term “Polar Vortex” got potential free agents to say “Thanks, but no thanks” to making Minnesota their new home. This time, it has been unseasonably warm late January temperatures that have melted what little snow there has been. While Mother Nature may not be cooperating, the event will go off as scheduled, perhaps moving the course to accommodate snowmobiles more efficiently.

Along with the midsummer Ride For Life, the Arctic Blast is one of the premier events the organization utilizes to raise money for the Vikings Children’s Fund. As such, there were be significant representation among current and former Vikings players. The scheduled list of current players includes Everson Griffen, Sharrif Floyd, Brandon Fusco, Charles Johnson, Kyle Rudolph and Harrison Smith. Former Vikings expected to take part include Chris Doleman, Scott Studwell, E.J. Henderson, Henry Thomas, Carl Lee, Darrin Nelson, Doug Sutherland, Bob Lurtsema, Fuad Reveiz and Brooks Bollinger.

There will be stops along the route of the Blast that will serve as Vikings headquarters for fans to get photos and autographs from players. On Saturday night, one of the area’s top draws – the arena rock-homage band Hairball – will be performing at the Thief River Falls Arena and a prize party will be held Sunday with more than $30,000 in prizes to be awarded.

While the winter hasn’t been the Arctic blast that many were bracing for after last year’s brutal combination of snow and cold, the Arctic Blast is one of the biggest fundraisers for the VCF and an opportunity for fans to get up close with some of their favorite current and former Vikings.

For a complete listing of the schedule and registration information, go to www.vikings.com for more information or call 952-828-6577.


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