The Can-Am Crown Returns To Fort Kent

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 7:05 PM EST
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Fort Kent, Maine (WAGM) - The Can-Am crown international sled-dog race is back! This year marks it’s 30th year. The race starts tomorrow morning and finishes on Monday March 8th. Jonathon Eigenmann was down in Fort Kent this afternoon talking with Dennis Cyr and musher Ward Wallin about the race.

After not being able to host the Can-Am in Fort Kent last year due to the pandemic, there is a lot of excitement heading into this years international sled-dog race for everyone involved.

Dennis Cyr: “This year we’re energetic and we got everything under control, races are going to be great this year, the trails are great, we’ve had new volunteers… everything’s looking really good for this years race”.

Ward Wallin: “I’m excited, looks like we have pretty nice weather and I heard the trails are in really good shape. And the volunteers been working really hard to put on a great race…. I’m glad to make the trip here”.

Ward Wallin, a returning musher from two harbors Minnesota, says like many others competing in the race, he has been preparing for months with the dogs. And while it was a lot of work, overall he enjoys the time he spends up here during the Can-Am.

“You know its always great coming out here, coming from the Midwest, I’ve got a lot of friends in the area that I haven’t seen, I’ve been coming out here for… maybe the first year of seventeen years and I’ve got a lot of friends and I’ve just really enjoyed seeing some friends that I only get to see once every couple of years. So it’s a great race, they do a great job and I’m glad to be apart of it.

With many coming into town to see and participate in the race, Covid is always a concern. But Cyr says nothing will be mandated for the can am festivities.

Dennis Cyr: “…Outside viewership, we won’t be requiring masks, but any other facilities at the can am….will be occupying, were recommending that everyone wear masks. Can Am will be providing masks should anyone need some will have sanitizers and stuff”.

There are 60 mushers competing in the can am 30,100, and 250. 16 of those will compete in the Iditarod qualifying Can-Am 250 sled dog race that could propel them to a future Iditarod race appearance. Cyr says he hopes people come out for the race.

Dennis Cyr: ”The Can-Am really impacts the community as well as the valley and all of the county. Of course, this is our 30th time..30th year of running the race. And the economic impact is just unbelievable to the community. You go into town today and there’s vehicles, there’s mushers. Businesses are busy, just the vibe of the community is unbelievable when the can am comes. (dissolves to) We love to have all the county come out and watch the races tomorrow. We got snow covering main street, it will be barricaded. So fans can be right up against the dogs. You’ll see probably..600 dogs running down main street…a lot of barking…lot of energy.

Cyr adds good weather and good trails will make for good times as both fans and mushers anxiously await Saturday morning start.

Jonathon Eigenmann, Newssource sports.

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