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Homemade sleds showcase creative design in Greenway race

Casey Holweger pushes his cardboard sled back to his pickup after getting third place in the annual cardboard sled race at Lincoln Park Saturday as part of Greenway Ski Day. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald1 / 3
LeRoy Vonasek, left, and Cliff Schulz drive a team of draft horses pulling a sleigh back to the parking lot at Lincoln Park Saturday for the annual Greenway Ski Day sleigh ride. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald2 / 3
Annabelle and David George practice their skating skills Saturday at Lincoln Park for the annual Greenway Ski Day events. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald3 / 3

A tank, train, helicopter and even a Winnebago raced down the Greenway on Saturday near Lincoln Drive Park in Grand Forks.

Their drivers were joined by a three-headed dragon, the Batmobile, the shark from “Jaws” and two of Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machines.

If you’re having a hard time picturing the race maybe adding the fact that all of these vehicles and animals were cardboard sleds piloted by local children will help.

This weekend’s annual cardboard sled race was part of the Grand Forks Park District’s Ski Day activities, which also included ice skating, a chili feed and sleigh rides.  

Race competitors built sleds from cardboard and hit the slopes to test their designs. More than 55 sleds raced in 11 heats plus one final round to determine whose sled was the best.

“We only had about 20 (sleds) last year because the weather was bad,” said Nicki Rush, who oversaw the event with fellow 104.3 KZLT radio personality Brian Michaels.

This year’s first-place winner Hannah Roemeling, 6, decked her sled out with glitter and pink duct tape, but kept the overall design simple.

Her father Shane Roemeling helped with painting the sled, a natural choice since his day job is working on and painting cars. The only member of the team not present was its mascot, Honey, the Roemeling’s cat who stayed home during the race.

It was Hannah’s first time competing in the sled race. While other competitors retired their sleds to the trash bin following the finale, the Roemeling family said they’re going to hang on to theirs and use it for sledding.

“At least until it breaks,” Hannah’s mother Dawn said.

Hannah received a framed certificate for her win, which she said she has big plans for: Show and tell at school.

Emilee Remmy, 12, also was in high spirits when her sled, the Remmy 6, carried her into second place overall.

While Emilee’s sled design was less elaborate than some of her competitors, her sister Alyssa, 11, hit the snow in style inside a hot pink sled shaped like a high heel.

Like Alyssa, others opted for flare and decorated their sleds with neon duct tape, top hats and fins or transformed them into objects such as ice cream trucks, cookies, sharks, and even Santa’s sleigh.

Materials for the race were donated by KapStone Container Corp. and the Ski & Bike Shop and provided for free to families for creating the sleds.