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22 Priest Lake Idaho www.priestlake.org VintageSnowmobileRacing comes to PriestLake Snowmobile racing has been a part of Priest Lakes history for a long time. Now racing of vintage snowmobile sleds 1985 and older is here. The very first race was held February 2014 at the Inn at Priest Lake in Coolin ID with approximately 25 entries and many spectators. With the success of this race another race was scheduled for 2014 however it was canceled due to warm weather. The 2016 races were moved to the west side of Priest Lake on the south end of the air strip near the Ranger Station close to Nordman ID. The first of two races for 2016 was held on January 17th with 86 entries some coming from as far away as Utah Oregon Idaho and Washington. The second race was held February 14th with 123 entries. The main sponsors of the races were the Priest Lake KaniksuCoolin Branch Lions Clubs and with the cooperation from the US Forest Service we were able to obtain the permits needed to hold these events. Additional support from many local and regional sponsors helped make these events possible. These races were created as a family-oriented winter-season event bringing excitement back to Priest Lake community resorts and businesses. With over 500 to 700 spectators at each event the races brought many from outside of the Priest Lake area. There were a variety of classes for the 1985-and-older snowmobiles including kids ages 4-10 juniors ages 11-16 women and other classes for amateurs as well as for the advanced racers. We are planning to have the same events in 2017 the first one will be on Sunday January 15 2017 and the second will be on February 19 2017. For additional information on these events the website is www.vintagesnowmobileracingpriestlake.com. For more information Mike Courteau Race Director 509-599-5530 cell 208-443-3089 home email courteaumikeyahoo.com. by Mike Courteau PriestLakeSnowshoeSoftball Tournament History Snowshoe Softball was started in 1970 by the founders George Brick Harris and Fred Bud Adams. In 1969 the idea to play a game of softball on snowshoes in the winter began from a challenge between younger men youngsters and older men old-timers of the Priest Lake community. The idea was introduced to play on snowshoes using a 14 softball to make the game more challenging and to entertain Priest Lake crowds gathered for the annual U.S. Pacific Coast International Sled Dog Championship while the dogs were out on the course. In 1970 the annual tournament began with two teams Priest Lake Forest Service employees youngsters and Spokane old-timers. The games were and still are played at the junction of Hwy 57 and Luby Bay Road near Priest Lake ID co-sponsored by local businesses Cedars and Korner ClubFrizzy OLearys. Brick Harris was a lifetime defense industry electrician at Fairchild AFB and is recognized as Snowshoe Softballs chief organizer promoter and booster of the event. Bud Adams had a love for softball and was instrumental in recruiting teams. When Snowshoe Softball first started wooden snowshoes were borrowed from the Forest Service and Fairchild Airforce Base. Snowshoes were later replaced with red and yellow plastic ones which are still being used in our ongoing tournaments. Bud LeMeiuxa long time participant and organizer of this unique winter activityis convinced Snowshoe Softball was invented at Priest Lake ID. In the early years the many winter activities that took place at Priest Lake in the months of January thru February were known as Priest Lake Days Winter Festival. Additional activities at Priest Lake Winterfest included dog sled races snowmobile races broom hockey jousting relay races boot on the board two-person chariot races and ladies snowshoe volleyball. Scoot Adams made a Rainier Beer can trophys to reward winners of the various winter games with donations by Rainier Company. During 1971 through 1974 four teams competed in the annual Snowshoe Softball tournament. From 1975 through1978 six teams competed. In 1979eight teams competed and from 1980 through today 12 teams compete in the double elimination tournament. For many years Bud and Scoot Adams provided the softballs snowshoes and laces from their store Olympic Sports of Spokane WA in addition to designing and selling t-shirts and sweatshirts for the annual event. The games have never been cancelled and continued under various conditions such as sleet rain and below zero temperatures. Only five times has the tournament been re-located due to snow conditions. In 1977 the tournament was held at University High School in Spokane WA. All other locations were in the Priest Lake area including across the highway from Millies Priest Lake School the airport and the golf course. The game is played by ASA modified fast pitch rules no leading off no stealing bases and the pitchers can throw the ball as fast as Continued on page 29