Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Race celebrates its 30th year

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 10:50 AM EST
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FORT KENT, Maine (WAGM) - A big turnout in Fort Kent this weekend for the annual Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog race. News Source 8′s Isaac Potter was there for the race on Saturday and has the story.

Main Street was filled on Saturday as many in the surrounding community came together to enjoy watching the annual Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog race in Fort Kent.

Andrew Birden, Media Advisor for Can Am Committee, says “The Can-Am crown is a community event that draws together mushers and dog teams from across the country and across the world. They all converge here in Fort Kent and the volunteers and planners put together this whole track that you will be seeing later on. Where everybody in the community can watch these dogs zooming down Main Street of Fort Kent before they all go launching in the woods. It’s an amazing experience.”

The Sled Dog races are featured in three different categories: the Can-Am 30, 100, and 250. This year was a big year for the race as it marked the 30th anniversary of the event. Birden says that this event continues to grow more and more every year.

Andrew Birden: “Don Coletta brought this idea to the town back 31 years ago, this is the 30th running of it and it has grown each year. People come from further and further away and for us in Fort Kent it is a way to showcase the things we can offer here. And the winter sports that really make this place an amazing place to live.”

Sarah Jenkins is a volunteer at the event, and marked her first time not only being at the event but volunteering. She says the event is quite an experience.

Sarah Jenkins: “It’s wonderful, it’s so many people that come to see this. It seems so well organized, it’s a lot of dog sleds and teens and they get them all in there in time so it’s working out well. So it’s been an experience.”

For Jenkins and Birden, they say what makes the event so special is the community coming together and the dogs.

Sarah Jenkins: “It just seems like a good community thing, I know it brings a lot of people here. The Dogs are so special, I think a lot of people are here because they just love dogs and that’s a great thing.”

Andrew Birden: “You can really see the link between the team and the musher him or herself. They stay together, they care for each other, and you can see that there is this bond that they recover from the long part of the race at two rivers kitchen in Allagash and the final leg of the race happens from there coming back to Fort Kent, and when they finally come back into the finish, those dogs are still going strong after 250 miles. It’s incredible.”

An event that is looking to continue on in the Fort Kent community for many more years to come. Isaac Potter News Source 8.