Apostle Island Sled Dog Race Celebrates 25th Year

Emily Ness
Updated: February 02, 2020 10:33 PM

Over time, the Apostle Island Sled Dog Race has become a staple in the small town of Bayfield. On Saturday and Sunday, teams and spectators celebrated 25 years of racing.


“It’s lots of fun seeing all of the dogs coming through,” Chuck Perry, long time volunteer said.

Along the winding trails of the Apostle Island Sled Dog Race lie checkpoints. Here—spectators said they are able to see the mushers and their dogs in action.

“It’s great. Everybody enjoys it. This is one place they can get really close to the teams,” Chuck Bronte, longtime volunteer said.

As the teams passed by, sights some have only seen in movies became a reality.

“Quite a few people have come in here at the checkpoint and it was there first time and ask a lot of questions about the dogs and how fast they go and how many they expect to come through here and that sort of thing,” Perry said.

And during time in between, people enjoyed music, conversation and a variety of unique dishes. Nicole Bronte, a volunteer shared that she was making pelau.

“It’s a dish that we do back home in Trinidad and Tobego. This dish is just a one pot dish that you put in a container and eat on the go and that’s what I did here and I think everybody loves it.”

Many raved about the volunteer efforts that make the event possible.

"They do a great job with the event—just tons of volunteer support, tons of spectators, really well organized,” Erin Redington, who is a musher herself said.

In the midst of the fun, money was raised for local organizations.

“Everything that’s donated goes to either the Jim Ramsdell Scholarship fund or the Chequamegon Humane Society animal shelter,” Jim Bryn, longtime volunteer said.

Bryn explained that the Jim Ramsdell fund was created to help aspiring artists pursue projects in honor of his friend who loved art and dog sledding.

“He was kind of one of our key people. We called him the dog whisperer. Every now and then a team would have a problem. They might get wrapped up with a little bit of a dog fight and Jim just had a magical way of mixing it up with the dogs and sorting things out,” Bryn said.

According to Bryn, spectators raised close to $1000 between the two days of racing for the Jim Ramsdell Scholarship fund and the Chequamegon Humane Society.

Spectators who attended the event said it was worth the trip.

“You know, whether it's the Beargrease or the Apostle Islands here—it’s just amazing to see what the dogs love to do. They get so excited barking—carrying on and it’s fun to see their excitement and the excitement of all the people involved,” Redington said.


Emily Ness

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