By Jocelyn Rhodes Cook, Contributing Writer
FULTON, NY – At the annual Great Eastern Whiteout this past weekend, there was a bit of “white” out on the ground. However, it was nowhere near the usual layers of crisp white snow usually present in Fulton in February.
The War Memorial was full of snow sport enthusiasts, vendors, and plenty of parts for sale for those in attendance. But, their hopes for the main event of the day, the snowmobile races, were dashed by the inadequate weather.
“No races this year,” sighed Patty Boice, one of a small number of women in attendance. “The weather has not been cooperating.”
Patty and Tim Boice were in attendance, bringing with them some of the members of Boy Scouts of America Troop #715 of Fulton.
The scouts, they said, have been coming every year for three years to help with cleanup at the event.
It’s a chance for the boys to have fun and help out at the same time, they agreed.
A small group of the boys, Anthony, Toby, Troy, Timmy, Trevor and Grant, and another little helper, Gabriel, fidgeted on a bench while awaiting their time to help out, as the Boices explained that this year, most people seemed to be coming to the event to look at parts and admire the snowmobiles on display.
“The ice isn’t thick enough for the races,” Tim Boice explained with disappointment.
Despite the cancellation of that part of the event, there were still plenty of vendors on hand.
From parts to snow gear (both practical and craftier items), vendors inside and outside the building were set up waiting for spectators to pick between their wares.
Upon exiting the building, a trailer near the path out to the idle snowmobiles being shown outside blasted Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana,” along with several other tunes, and snowmobile fans young and old (and even one of the canine variety!) were scattered about.
From Arctic Cat to Ski-Doo, Yamaha to Polaris, it seemed like every make and model was on display.
But all the vehicles were still as the devotees paraded about the grounds, chatting about their experiences with the machines with little else to do without the races to look forward to.
The event is sure to return next year; how much snow there will be is anyone’s guess.