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R.O.L.A. Days, 'Rip Roarin' fun

Grey skies and severe summer weather threatened the 8th Annual Rip Roarin' R.O.L.A. Days Saturday, but racers and spectators ironically thought to themselves, "At least it's not snowing." Photo by Paul Gregersen/FOCUS1 / 4
The event included vintage snowmobiles and other motorized toys from across the area. Photo by Paul Gregersen/FOCUS2 / 4
Riders and vehicles of all ages and sizes took to the drags to strut their stuff during Rip Roarin' R.O.L.A Days. Photo by Paul Gregersen/FOCUS3 / 4
Spectators came to NY Mills from across the region to experience what is becoming one of the most popular summer events in the area. Photo by Paul Gregersen/FOCUS4 / 4

Minnesotans are known for being practical, grounded people. Garrison Keillor usually attributes it to the harsh realities of winter.

So it may come as a surprise to hear a large group of snowmobile enthusiasts were tearing their sleds through grass in 80-degree heat over the weekend.

Then again, no one ever suggested Minnesotans don't know how to have fun either.

The 8th Annual Rip Roarin' R.O.L.A. Days took place Friday and Saturday at the former New York Mills Airport grounds.

R.O.L.A. stands for Regional One Lunger Association.

The event included vintage snowmobile, ATV and bike grass drags as well as a swap meet.

The festivities kicked off Friday, August 6, when swappers and racers arrived for two days of racing, quality time with family and friends, and a shared love of anything that's fast on grass whether it's supposed to be or not. Many spent the night in campers and tents Friday as part of the events.

Saturday's festivities began at 8 a.m. with the swap meet featuring swappers from across the area buying and selling vintage snowmobile hoods, motor parts, accessories and more.

According to event organizer, Kevin Dreyer, the event grows in popularity every year. He said this year's events were some of the fastest moving in R.O.L.A. Days history.

Although hot summer storms threatened to put a damper on the festivities, the gray clouds in the eastern sky didn't seem to bother anyone.

After all, these racers are used to running in much worse, snowy and cold winter conditions. You know, the type of weather that makes an event like this practical, as well as above average.