Blessing of the Sleds draws big crowd

Snowmobilers enjoy hefty snowfall

IRONS — Area residents and snowmobilers alike spent their Saturday morning embracing the hefty snowfall Irons received during the 12th annual Blessing of the Sleds.

Hosted by the Irons Area Tourist Association, more than a hundred snowmobilers gathered at Skinner Park to enjoy the cold weather and be blessed for a safe snowmobile season.

“This is the twelfth anniversary of the Blessing of the Snowmobiles here in Irons, and we’re super excited we got some snow Friday night,” President of Irons Tourist Association Bob Platt said.

Beginning with a hot breakfast, guests had the opportunity to mingle before the blessing took place at 11 a.m., led by Minister Melanie Davis.

“Hopefully, it’ll keep them safe for the season so they can come back and do it again someday,” Platt said.

Grand Rapids resident David Smith and his friend, Frank, are two snowmobilers who look forward to the blessing each year.

“We come every year,” Smith said. “(We like) the gathering, the support – everything about snowmobiling.”

Snowmobiling since he was 12, Smith said he’s 55 now and owns a cottage in Irons where he’s able to ride his sled seasonally.

Lake County Sheriff Richard Martin was one of many faces at Skinner Park Saturday who appreciated the snowfall.

“It’s always an annual event we have here in Irons that we have for the community to partake in snowmobile festivities. We had a pretty decent turnout this year and was fortunate we had a bunch of snow,” Martin said. “We just want everybody to be safe and make sure they follow the rules.”

After the blessing, snowmobilers hopped on their sleds and took off down the many trails Skinner Park provides for riders.

“Bless the snowmobiles for a safe and joyful snowmobile season,” Platt said.