The highlight of the weekend was the Saturday afternoon revival of the Polaris Thrill Team. In the late-1960s the original Thrill Team performed breathtaking stunts and precision riding at snowmobile races and winter festivals. During the 50th Anniversary Celebration, three riders performed the most famous stunt of all â€“ riding through a 360Ëš loop.
Nearly everyone in town was crowded around the fairgrounds grandstand on Saturday afternoon when Roger Dick, Jeremy Hughes and Cory Wimpfheimer rode vehicles through the giant metal loop.
Dick, age 59, was a member of the original Thrill Team in the late-1960s, so on Saturday he showed the young riders how it was done, riding a 1970 Polaris Charger snowmobile through the loop as the crowd held its collective breath. Wimpfheimer, 28, then ran through the loop twice on a 2005 Polaris Fusion 900 snowmobile and Hughes, 25, circled the structure on a Polaris Predator 500 ATV.
Tracy Kofstad lined up for a run through the loop on a Predator, then tricked the crowd by driving off a large dirt ramp and flying through the center of the loop, causing the emcee to note, â€œWell, we told him to go through the loop, and I guess he did!â€
The stunt riders were also scheduled to run the loop once more on July 24, when Polaris held a 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, a St. Paul suburb. Itâ€™s worth noting that July 24 was Dickâ€™s 60th birthday.