Racers rev up for Portage Co. Ice Wars - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Racers rev up for Portage Co. Ice Wars

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AMHERST (WAOW) -

Landon Moe is a third grader at Amherst Elementary School.

Today, he and his classmates got to meet a snowmobiling world champion, Nick Van Strydonk of Tomahawk.

"It makes me kind of feel really happy because they have, like, really cool snowmobiles and like, I want to see them," said Moe.

And the happiness ran both ways.

The racers were just as excited to meet the students.

"Just seeing the smiles on everybody's faces, it doesn't matter if you're, you know, six or seven or if you're the teacher of the classroom. Everybody has a smile on their face," said Van Strydonk.

It's all part of the Portage County Ice Wars. The snowmobiling competition is revving up for its fifth year.

Organizers said the students enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at racing.

"It's exposure to something that they don't normally see," said Kyle Krogwold, chairman of the event.

Racers visited the school for the first time last year.

"The kids loved it and have been talking about it all year. Anytime you see one of the kids, they ask about it," said Krogwold.

"I was looking forward to when they were coming. So, I was, like, waiting for this day," said Moe.

Business owners and fans were waiting for this day as well.

The Portage County Ice Wars draws in racers, crews and spectators. Officials said all that up to a large economic impact.

"We try to support the community by eating at local restaurants and things like that, and I think it just brings a lot of attention to a smaller community," said Van Strydonk.

The racing begins Saturday and runs through Sunday at the Portage County Fairground in Amherst.

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