January 11, 2013

Rangeley snowmobile festival to go on despite tragedy

The Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club will go ahead with its annual Snodeo, which attracts thousands and boosts the town's economy.

The Associated Press

RANGELEY — A nearly quarter-century-old snowmobile festival will go on as planned in Rangeley despite the presumed deaths of three sledders who apparently rode into open water on Rangeley Lake last month.

The Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club, organizer of the annual Snodeo, decided to carry on with the festival scheduled for Jan. 24 through 26 after meeting with the Maine Warden Service and town officials.

The Warden Service has been leading recovery efforts. A Yarmouth woman riding separately died when her snowmobile fell into the lake at about the time the men went missing.

Snodeo Chairwoman Sandi Dumont tells the Sun Journal the losses are "unfortunate," but many people plan vacations around the event, which provides an economic boost to the town.

From 3,000 to 6,000 people are expected to attend.

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