Professional snowmobile athletes Josh Penner and Willie Elam stole the show at NorSask's ski-doo open house on Thursday, but that was fully intentional.
There was tons to do and see at the nine-hour open house, from a horse and sleigh ride, to snowboarding stunts, to a concession, and even a free draw, but the real attraction was the two separate snowmobile shows with the X-Games athletes.
"A week before this event, [they] called me up and they wanted to me to ride their sled," Penner, who is from Letellier, Man., told the crowd following the first of two stunt sessions. "I wasn't going to miss the show because I was really excited to kick off the season here. So I worked enough to get upside-down and just put on a show for you guys."
That's right, both Penner and Elam's repertoire included pulling off a backflip on a full-sized snowmobile. They also did a number of other tricks, including going 'no hands' at times, in front of a crowd that reached a few hundred at night.
Both athletes have competed at the winter X-Games before, Elam nine times and Penner twice.
Penner, 31, has been performing snowmobile freestyle demos in Minnesota and Montana since 2015. He also does FMX demos on his dirt bike in the summer.
Elam, who has performed with Penner in the past with promotional company Octane Addiction, began doing snowmobile SnowCross, but moved to freestyle in 2014.
"I've been travelling, mostly in warm wather — this is my first cold weather one [this year] — so it's been fun," Elam, who is from Twin Falls, Idaho, told the crowd. "It's good to be here with you guys and just have a show. I'm putting it on for you guys, so thanks."
The entire Battlefords North Stars team was present at the event as well, and played street hockey with young kids before it got dark.
The evening concluded with NorSask drawing a winner for their gift basket prize, which went to Scott Smith, which was announced on their Facebook page.
On Twitter: @BattlefordsNOW
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