Six young children and their parents gathered outside the visitor center at Bear River State Park on Saturday, Feb. 19, waiting to participate in the first annual homemade sled derby sponsored by the Friends of Bear River State Park (FBRSP).
The sleds were made of cardboard, and the rules stated no nails or staples could be used. The race started at the top of the sledding hill across from the visitor center. FBRSP members provided hot chocolate, donuts, and other treats for the contestants and family members. The contestants ranged in age from 4 years old to elementary-aged students.
The snow on the sledding hill had been groomed by a park employee on a snowmobile; however, the recent warmer weather had softened the snow enough so the six cardboard sleds slowly progressed down to the finish line. One sled even tipped over, but an adult helped the boy to right his sled, and he kept going.
Quinn Hartzell won a trophy for being the first to cross the finish line. Damien Rozzo, who built a sled styled like a hot rod truck, won a trophy for most thematic, and Korban Hartzell earned the trophy for best crash in his “Speedy Machine” sled.
Children had a great time and one even went back up to slide again. The FBRSP group plans to hold an annual sled derby every winter. The Friends group supports the state park with fundraising activities and events. Anyone wishing to join can pick up a membership brochure at the visitor center.