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Group seeks volunteers to help build world record ice carousel

SINCLAIR, Maine — Snowmobile clubs from across Aroostook County are joining forces, and chainsaws, in an attempt to carve out a world record sized ice carousel on Long Lake this weekend.

“An ice carousel is a circle cut out into the ice on a lake and we make it spin; we make it turn like a merry-go-round on the ice on the lake,” said Michael Cyr of Snowmobile Northern Maine, which is organizing the event March 16-18.

The current world record for an ice carousel is 122 meters, or about 400 feet, in diameter, and was created in Iohja, Norway.

The Aroostook County group hopes to create a carousel that is 130 meters, or 426.5 feet in diameter.

The group is seeking volunteers, especially folks with chainsaws and ice augers, to help with the cutting beginning Friday, March 16.  Volunteers also are needed to help with shoveling, guiding the circle and other tasks.

Cyr said he hopes volunteers can show up at the site on Friday at 8 a.m. The group plans to continue cutting until 8 p.m. that evening and again from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday.

“Sunday should be the day of enjoying watching it rotate and turn around,” he said.  

Cyr indicated that there is plenty of ice on the lake and that it definitely is thick enough to ensure volunteer safety.

“Right now Long Lake has over 31 inches of ice which can support about 70 tons,” Cyr said Monday.

That thickness of ice will require more effort to cut through, but Cyr is hopeful enough volunteers show up and the group succeeds in its goal of making the world’s largest ice carousel.

“There’s always a chance of failure, but we’re gonna give it a good attempt,” he said.

A northern Maine claim to a world record ice carousel is not the only good thing Snowmobile Northern Maine hopes to come out of the effort. Organizers want the event to bring recognition and donations to the Aroostook County Meals on Wheels program.

“Our senior citizens you know are kind of a silent minority, but I feel they’re still the backbone of the Valley,” Cyr said. “This Meals on Wheels program not only provides meals to our seniors, but a person is physically knocking on the door to sort of make sure they’re OK at the same time. For some (senior citizens) this is the only contact they have with people during the day.”  

In fact, those who make a donation at the event will be entered in a drawing to win a variety of prizes donated by Valley merchants. One such prize is an overnight stay in the jacuzzi suite at the Overlook Motel in Eagle Lake.

However, anyone is welcome to join in the fun whether they donate to Meals on Wheels or not.

“There’s no cost to come and view the thing,” Cyr said.

For more information visit the Snowmobile Northern Maine Facebook page.

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