Snowmobilers receive blessing for safe season

'We like to see visitors come and see all the attractions'

IRONS — A warm bonfire helped offset the biting frigid winds on Saturday, as snowmobile enthusiasts gathered around for a blessing for a safe riding season.

Although there was a thaw in late December, the snow recently piled on again, creating better conditions for winter sports enthusiasts. 

The hum of snowmobiles could be heard on the trails near Skinner Park on Irons during the 14th annual Blessing of the Sleds, hosted by the Irons Area Tourist Association. Snowmobilers gathered at Skinner Hall to enjoy a breakfast of their choice of sausage and pancakes, or biscuits and gravy. 

The riders gathered around a bonfire to receive a blessing by the Rev. Starr Daniels. 

“Thank God we have snow,” Daniels said, explaining she has been an ordained minister the past 10 years.

She asked a blessing for the season, and being out in the wonders of nature this area offers. She also prayed snowmobilers wouldn’t fall into the temptation of drinking and driving.

“Have a good season,” she concluded. 

Along with snowmobilers, several deputies from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Recreation Division, along with Sheriff Rich Martin were present. 

“Throughout the years, snowmobiling has grown into a large sport," Martin said. "Lake County is known for recreation, and this time of year during snowmobile season, we like to see visitors come and see all the attractions the county has to offer."