These slick, high-speed races are unlike any other winter event you’ll find in New England.
These annual ice races are kind of like NASCAR… except with older cars, slicker tracks, and much lower temperatures. It’s the Lakes Region Ice Races, where two of Moultonborough’s ponds turn into racecourses every Sunday in February. They’ve been a tradition since the 1950s. For the past 40 years, local legend Jack Cook has run the races. He’s known around town as the longest running race participant too! At 65, he has no intentions of slowing down, though he’ll admit his grandson, Chris Taylor, has been giving him a run for his money the past few years.
Folks from all over the region come out to watch and compete. It’s that same community that spends the summer months fundraising for the event, even though there is no guarantee the races will happen because the races are weather dependent. The ponds must reach 12 inches deep ice-wise for the races to be deemed safe, and once it is, the track is plowed and banked with snow. The races are broken up into six divisions including sprint cars, modifieds, V-8 Stocks, 4-cylinder front wheel drive, 4-cylinder rear wheel drive, and a junior race where the competitors are between the ages of 13 and 15. Engines are revved, and spectators show up by the car-full ($10 per car) for a day of racing, delicious fare provided from The Shanty, and the kind of comradery that comes from tailgating and good times.