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Major Dog Sled Race Canceled After Unseasonably Warm Weather

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On Monday, Feb. 26, the organizers of the Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Races announced the cancellation of this year’s race due to insufficient snow coverage. This marks a rare pause for the event, which has thrilled sled dog racing enthusiasts for over three decades in northern Maine.

Can-Am Crown International, longest dog sled race in Eastern United States, canceled after lack of snow

The decision to cancel the longest dog sled race in the eastern United States comes after the region experienced lower-than-average snowfall, making the trails unsafe for both participants and their sled dogs. According to Dennis Cyr, the president of the Can-Am Crown, the forecast of heavy rain and unusually warm weather further worsened the conditions, leaving the organizers with no choice but to call off the event.

“The unique challenges presented by the lack of snow have led us to conclude that moving forward with this year’s race could compromise the well-being of all involved,” stated Cyr. “It is a decision made with heavy hearts but necessary caution,” he added.

The races, which draw participants and spectators to Fort Kent, have historically brought not only excitement but also a significant economic boost to the area. However, this year, the town recorded just 46.8 inches of snow, falling short of the average 80 inches expected by this time of the year, as per the National Weather Service.

Can-Am Crown has faced similar challenges in the past, with route changes and early halts due to varying weather conditions. Most notably, the race saw a cancellation in 2021, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The event has become one of many winter traditions struggling to adapt to the increasingly unpredictable and warm weather patterns observed in the northern regions of the country.

Despite the setback, the organizers are optimistic about the race’s return next year — per AP News. “[The race is] not just an event; it’s a tradition that celebrates the remarkable bond between the mushers and their sled dogs, as well as the rugged beauty of Maine’s winter landscape,” said Sarah Brooks, the event’s vice president.

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