Sled dog derby returns to Baldwin for second year

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This year's sled dog derby, which originally was scheduled for Jan. 13-15, has been postponed until February due to lack of snow.)

BALDWIN — Last year's sled dog derby in Baldwin was such a hit, organizers are thrilled to continue the event this year, which will be even bigger. 

Each year, professional mushers with the Great Lakes Sled Dog Association host sled dog races at Stearns Siding in the forest land west of Baldwin. Last year, the mushers and community collaborated to host a derby right in Baldwin.

Eight teams were sponsored for the race last year with various local businesses and organizations being represented. This year, there will be 17 teams plus two special guest drivers. 

The weekend of winter fun begins Friday with drivers in the sponsor race checking in at St. Ann's Church coffee room, before a light meal provided by Debbie's Sportsman's Lounge. Drivers and sled dogs then will battle it out for top speed on the grounds between St. Ann Catholic Church and the Lake County Historical Museum. Winners can then collect the sponsor awards back in the coffee room. 

The community event also gives a boost to the Bread of Life Food Pantry, as spectators and participants are encouraged to give donations for the pantry. A bin will be outside the door of the coffee room. Organizers hope to double donations this year. 

Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin reflected on the fun of last year's event. 

"Yours truly was fortunate to beat out Bruce from the museum in the first heat, however, ate snow dust by Jamie from the bank in the second race. It was great to see such a large turnout from the community," he said. 

The racing continues Saturday morning, with professional race taking place on Wingelton Road at Stearn's Siding. The public is invited to support the mushers and their teams. Parking and viewing will be available. 

Racing will resume Sunday morning. People are invited to join an awards presentation which will take place after the racing. Pizza will be provided by Baldwin Bowling Center Sports Bar and Grill.