By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN - Last year’s first annual Upper Midwest Model T Rally in Cokato turned out to be quite a hit, even attracting the attention of a local television news station.
This year, the Model Ts are coming back to Peterson Park Saturday, Jan. 17 and Sunday, Jan. 18, hosted by the Cokato Historical Society.
“Despite last year’s chilly temps, we had a great turnout for this inaugural event, and are looking forward to hosting this year’s,” said Mike Worcester, Cokato Museum director.
Last January, the 1920s vehicles buzzed around the park, making it a sight to see for visitors and passersby. This year, spectators can expect the same.
The goal for this year’s rally is to have six to eight working vehicles in attendance, said Worcester.
Last year, five operating vehicles were in attendance.
By spearheading the event, the historical society wanted to give owners of these unique snow machines an opportunity to get together, have some fun, and converse in their shared hobby.
With a majority of the snowmobile conversion kits having been sold in the New England area, many of the Model T rallies take place there.
“The Model T Ford Snowmobile Club of America is 100 percent behind our efforts,” Worcester said. “They want to see more regional events.”
Last year, one participant came from as far away as Bismarck, IL, while two others came from Fergus Falls and East Grand Forks for the event.
Harvey Barberg of Cokato, whose dad talked about the early snowmobiles (cars on skis), had never actually saw one until his cousin, Benard Bajari, donated a Model T to the Cokato Museum a few years back He called last year’s event “absolutely super.”
The tentative schedule will have snowmobile demonstrations Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. An optional run at Brooks Lake will be from 11 to noon on Sunday. The event is free and open to the public.
Complete details about the rally are available at the museum’s web site, www.cokato.mn.us/cmhs.