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‘Phenomenal’ crowd packs Winter Snow Show

Lorraine Phillips Hebrshopping with Aries Huber (not visible) tests out Polaris Ranger during Winter Snow Show Porter County Expo Center

Lorraine Phillips of Hebron, shopping with Aries Huber (not visible), tests out a Polaris Ranger during the Winter Snow Show at the Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso, Ind. Saturday December 3, 2011. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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IF YOU GO

The Winter Snow Show continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 Division Road. Admission is $5.

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Updated: January 5, 2012 8:30AM



VALPARAISO — Dave LaFree has been snowmobiling for 30 years.

Saturday, the Medaryville resident came to check out the first Winter Snow Show at the Porter County Expo Center. He wanted to look at new models and for equipment like helmets.

“Every year I go up to Michigan all the time (to snowmobile) and it’s nice to have something like this ahead of time if I need something,” he said, looking over a snowmobile. “I’m always looking for a better deal.”

About 20 vendors came out for the first show, which Len Neisler, president of the Indiana Snowmobilers Association said could draw 2,000 to 3,000 people over the course of the weekend.

“For the first time, it’s unbelievable,” he said.

Similar events have been held in other places, he said, but the association decided to do one here because the area doesn’t have a winter sports show. The crowd Saturday was “phenomenal,” he said, and next year’s event may expand to include skiing and other winter sports equipment.

Jeff Kolan, owner of TJ Motorsports in Valparaiso, opened his business two years ago. He also was pleased with how the show was going.

“I’m really encouraged with the traffic flow. We’re getting a lot of good hits on it. I’m really excited about it, because I think it’s a good market,” he said, adding other shows in the Midwest are in Milwaukee and Detroit.

Kolan, who raced snowmobiles for eight years, started off working on his friends’ snowmobiles, and that morphed into his business, which now includes selling parts and accessories.

More information on the Indiana Snowmobilers Association and its local chapters can be found at www.indianasnowmobilers.com.



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