The annual Rangeley Snodeo will be taking place this Thursday through Saturday. A torchlight snowmobile safety vigil will be part of this year's event on Friday evening at 5 pm. The vigil will start with a moment of silence, followed by a blessing of the lake, a safety presentation by a Maine Warden Service official and speeches from Snodeo chairperson Aimee Danforth and Town Manager Tim Kane. That will be followed by a human-bridge blessing of the snowmobiles.

This follows the tragic loss of four snowmobilers this past December. Dawn Newell, 45, from Yarmouth, went through the ice on December 30th and her body was recovered on December 31st. Glen Henderson, 43, of Sabattus, his cousin, Kenneth  Henderson, 40, from China and their friend John Spencer, 41, of Litchfield all went missing on December 31st and are presumed dead.

Residents and local businesses are preparing for the usual large crowds that draws people from all over Maine and New England. This weekends events include children's activities, ice sculpture contests, canoe sled rides, fireworks and plenty of snowmobiling.

If you are heading to Rangeley, bundle up, the coldest weather in a few years is expected Thursday with only a slight moderation in temperatures over the weekend.