The I-500 Race Returns to Sault Ste. Marie

The 45th International 500 Endurance Snowmobile Race (or I-500) comes to Sault Ste. Marie in just a few weeks! Today, Mariah Goos of the Sault Ste. Marie Convention & Visitors Bureau fills us in on what to expect at the race, along with her recommendations on other things to see in the area while you’re in town.

If you find yourself in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula February 2nd, 2013, take a drive to Sault Ste. Marie and you’ll be in for an adventure. 500 miles of speed, thrills and spills will be waiting for you at the 45th International 500 Endurance Snowmobile Race. The I-500, as we call it, is February’s answer to cabin fever for over 10,000 spectators. For $15 dollars a button you can watch 38 teams race at 100mph through the straightaway for a prize purse worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Did I mention that they race on a one mile ice oval track? Yes, ice. It takes three weeks, 1,800,000 gallons of water, and freezing temperatures to create the track.

You’ve never been, you say!? What’s to do, you ask? Between watching the snowmobiles careen around the ice track you might wander through the 12th Annual Vintage Snowmobile Show. Sleds representing nearly every decade since the launch of the snow machine are present. Admission is included with the purchase of a button.

The I-500 race has a tailgate atmosphere filled with festive social spectators. Bring your cooler or purchase food and beverage from the local vendors that line the infield. Join this fun atmosphere to chase away your cabin fever, but remember to dress warm. You never know what the weather has in store during early February.

Truth be told, you can turn your Saturday I-500 Race adventure into a weeklong excursion.

Bring your ice skates and join in Monday night for skating on the smooth one mile oval track for free. Then, watch Tuesday through Thursday afternoons as teams practice and jockey for position in time trials. Ramp up Thursday night with the 20 lap Woody’s Challenge Pro-Am Race, followed by a live band to rock out the evening.

Finally, on Friday night cast your vote for the 2013 Miss I-500. Vote for your favorite contestant with your pocketbook; all funds donated to the Pink Ribbon Riders Breast Cancer patient assistance fund. Admission is free. Stick around after the crowning of Miss I-500 to watch the kids tear up the track in the Mini-Z Race. Enjoy the crackling bon-fire as Friday night wines down and you prepare for the fun of Saturday mornings green flag at 10:00am.

Fill in your race weekdays with amazing winter adventures in and around Sault Ste. Marie. Have you ever seen the Tahquamenon Falls? How about in the winter? The frozen cascade of the 50 foot falls is a site you have to see in person. How about speeding down an icy slope in an inner tube? Or, visit Sault Seal Recreation Area and experience all seven runs of varying inclines. And if you missed Monday night’s ice skating there are three indoor facilities to choose from right in town.

Whether you come for the day or the week, a trip to Sault Ste. Marie Michigan for the I-500 Race should be on your to do list for 2013. There are only three things you need to know about the race to fully appreciate it: Go Fast, Always Turn Left and DON’T Fall Off The Sled.

For information on Sault Ste. Marie please visit Information regarding the International 500 Endurance Snowmobile Race please visit

Are you attending the I-500 race next month? Share with us below!

Mariah Goos is the Communication Coordinator for the Sault Ste. Marie, MI Convention & Visitors Bureau ( She is the face behind a number of the social media interactions that comes out of the Sault. Mariah loves all three seasons in the Upper Peninsula and her motto is “No Coffee…No Workee”. Find her on Twitter (@VisitTheSault), Facebook, and Pinterest.

6 thoughts on “The I-500 Race Returns to Sault Ste. Marie

  1. just because of reading your post i have managed to finsh my assignment. thanks alot for this info.

  2. @KerriTang Sorry Kerri- but you don’t know what you are talking about.  1. Vance Muse “invented” the right to work law.  Please learn your history.  Here:

    2. Kerri wrote: ” There is nothing- not one thing in this new work law that infringes on anyone”:?   Then you haven’t read the law and don’t understand what right to work laws do.  This new work law creates a new crime.  The crime created is that it will now be illegal for two private parties (an employer, and the legal representative of their employees) to enter into a private contract which has employees contribute towards the expenses of the organization that legally must represent them.  Now this will be a CRIME.  That infringes on private contract law and personal liberty.  If you can’t see that, you are blind.

    3. Kerri wrote: “If you don’t want to pay dues, you don’t have to.  If you want to, you can.”  Excuse me, but once again you are showing you don’t have a clue.  You don’t have to pay dues today if you don’t want to.  You never have had to pay dues if you didn’t want to. Instead, the federal law has, since 1948, allowed you to opt out of paying dues, and instead, pay a smaller “agency fee” for the cost of the representation you receive.
    What right-to-work legislation does is prevent people from having to pay ANY amount, even though under federal law, the Union MUST represent that person.   All right-to-work laws do are interfere with private contractual law and are intended to weaken/destroy Unions.

    4.  Kerri said “My son just quit his union, is not paying dues right now. In the last eight years they have done NOTHING for him, but collected $2,000 a year from him.”  So, your son learned from you to mooch off others, did he?  Your son must have made fairly good wages if he paid $2,000 in dues.  In Unions, it is the members who set the dues schedule.  SO if he made $75,000 a year, he would be obtaining the benefit of those Union negotiated wages, and probably Union negotiated sick leave, annual leave, and contractual working conditions, and now you expect the Union to provide the same service for him for nothing?  Employees always have the opportunity to decertify the Union if they so choose.  All it takes is the majority to vote to do so.

    In the meantime, I suggest YOU go to school and learn the racist history of right-to-work laws, and their impact on reducing wages and benefits for employees.
    We would be a much better country if we had much stronger Unions in every sector.

  3. Jim Pratt is way off base.  The right to work is nothing about whites being forced into black organizations or visa-versa. What hole do you live in? Have you read the Right to Work legislation/law that passed? The connection was done so that not only visitors but all people outside Michigan, that might want to move here, know about it. All the states that have voted in Right To Work, have done the same. There is nothing, not one thing, in this new work law that infringes on anyone. The whole concept that it does is bais crap from the unions and their bosses, and the left.  If you don’t want to pay dues, you don’t have to, if you want to, you CAN. Period. Right to Work protects EVERYONE’s right.  It isn’t anti-union. Get off your ignorant high horse and get some common sense. My son just quit his union, is not paying dues right now. In the last 8 yrs they have done NOTHING for him, but collected $2000 a yr from him. If a better union representation comes along, he’ll join again. But thank God he can opt out w/o penalty. He’s a single dad, w/3 teens, and that $2000 will go a long way meanwhile. You’re sadly misinformed. Do the homework, get your facts straight.  While you’re at it, ask the union people this, and ask them to be honest…….do they mind (& do they know) that the union bosses only put about 26% of the collected total dues back into their needs? The other 74% goes to THEM, the BOSSES….their style of living, their needs, their boats, cars, vacations, etc. Be honest, Jim, the unions are not what they were originally intended to be. We needed them. We’ve gotten a lot of good job rules w/the help of the unions. But, they are not that anymore. They are greedy &narrow minded.

  4. @Sault Ste Marie MI CVB – I already saw the blog post, and I commented several times- go read it yourself SSM.    “Pure Michigan” now has been destroyed by Mr. Finney, it now stands for racism.  Anything advertised with a “pure michigan” logo is now representing the evil right-to-work contamination of greed and racism. No thanks. I’ll stay the hell away from anything with a “pure michigan” logo from here on out- including your race.

  5. @JimPratt

    Jim – Please see this blog post from Mike Finney, President and CEO of the MEDC for more information on the ads surrounding Michigan’s business climate: Please share any additional feedback in the comments section of the post or on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Facebook page at

    We encourage you to reconsider checking out the I-500 and other fun, upcoming events happening across the state this winter.

  6. Sorry, but the sudden connection of  “Pure Michigan” with the “Right-to-work” racism leaves a sickening feeling in my stomach. Now, every time I see “pure Michigan” the first thing that comes to mind is Vance Muse, father of the right-to-work movement, who said: “From now on, white women and white men will be forced into organizations with black African apes whom they will have to call ‘brother’ or lose their jobs.”— Vance Muse, founder of the “right to work” anti-labor campaign.

    Now I connect the “Pure Michigan” campaign with racism.   Sorry, but that includes the I-500 race, now contaminated with the link to “pure Michigan”. MEDC- you have DESTROYED the “Pure Michigan” brand with your “right-to-work” destruction.

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