FULTON — Since 2001, snowmobile owners from around upstate New York and throughout the Northeast have gathered at the Great Eastern Whiteout to showcase their vintage and antique snowmobiles, some of which date back as far as the 1920s.
The event features a vintage snowmobile show, with judging in several categories, along with a swap meet.
On Saturday, huge crowds gathered at the Fulton War Memorial for the 20th annual Great Eastern Whiteout. The event featured more than 300 sleds and vendors both inside and outside of the War Memorial. More than 3,000 visitors were expected.
The event is annually a big boost to the local economy, particularly for hotels and restaurants.
The Whiteout originated in Sandy Creek before moving to Rolling Wheels racetrack in Weedsport for a portion of time, according to Tracy Doyle, co-chair of the event.
“I was at Rolling Wheels just spectating, because I love vintage riding and it was always a mud hole. There was no snow,” Doyle said.
A Fulton native, Doyle contacted the Whiteout’s then-promoter and convinced him to move the event to its current location at the Fulton War Memorial near G. Ray Bodley High School.
Saturday’s event was the 11th one hosted by Fulton. The Whiteout began at 8 a.m., and the awards presentation was to start at about 3 p.m.
Proceeds from the event go toward local scholarships and charities such as United Way, Catholic Charities, and Fulton youth sports, according to Jim Latino, co-chair of the Whiteout. Several local businesses and organizations provided sponsorship for the Whiteout.
The vintage snowmobiles are judged by participants who can also enter sleds for judging. Because of this, judges cannot vote for their own sled to win an award, said Ken Wheelock, another co-chair of the event.
Many trophies are awarded in a variety of classes. This year’s featured show sled was Moto-Ski, and entrants with those sleds were judged in a special category.
Whiteout participants were invited to join in a vintage trail ride to Sunday breakfast at the Lysander Fire Department to close out the weekend.