The first thing attendees noticed while walking down Summit Avenue toward the Detroit Lake shoreline on Saturday is the high pitched buzzing.
Like a swarm of wasps, all with their own distinct motors and color schemes.
Spanning the decades, more than 500 snowmobiles lined the ice on Detroit Lake Saturday, Feb. 20 for the annual ULTRA Vintage Snowmobile rally, part of Polar Fest 2021.
Also, after extreme cold weather delayed the Poles 'N Holes ice fishing derby and the Kool Kites on the Lake demonstration, both Polar Fest 2021 events finally kicked off along side the snowmobile rally; bringing hundreds to the lake's frozen surface.
"It is an awesome turnout," said Jeff Alberts, trail administrator for ULTRA Snowmobile Club. "It's the biggest turnout we've had in 18 years."
Alberts said riders showed up to the rally from Montana, Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota and Michigan.
"A lot of them came in on Friday, so you know there are some hotel rooms being used up," he said. "It's just a good time and it's actually pretty decent weather ... plenty of snowmobiles and there is enough snow to ride yet, so, come Monday there might not be."
Riders entered their snowmobiles to be judged in 21 different categories of customization, and class, for bragging rights and trophies.
"Due to the great turnout, it's been great," said Tommy Ailie, local announcer. "There's been all kinds of sleds, lots of people, decent weather, little bit on the brisk side, but not enough to keep anybody home, it looks like."
Ailie said he's hosted the event for the last five, or six, years and will keep doing it, if the club keeps asking him. He also highlighted some of the more unique snowmobiles at the rally.
"That sled is made out of a riding tractor," he said. "We got an old Ford Model-T that's been converted into a snow machine, one-of-a-kind sleds out here, custom jobs ... they got a little bit of everything."
Decorating the frozen skyline for the rally, the Kool Kites on the Lake flying demonstration featured a dozen larger-than-life kites for visitors to enjoy, and even handle.
Barbara and Alex Meyer, of Maple Grove, Minn., brought their kites up from the Twin Cities and were both delighted there was a brisk wind blowing across the lake.
The Meyers said they have been making, and flying, kites since the late 1970s after thinking sail boating might be too expensive a hobby to maintain.
Barbara said she has made between 40 to 50 kites since last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many people to double-down on their hobbies.
Their kite, Chinese Dragon, is 50 feet long and needs 1,800-pound test line, but, the couple said, they ordered it commercially.
"It's pretty much like a giant wind sock," she said.
Also, the Pole 'N Holes ice fishing derby brought hundreds of ice fishermen after being delayed twice since Feb. 6.
The tournament coincides with the statewide virtual fishing derby hosted via the Fish Donkey app, which runs from Feb. 12 to Feb. 28.