September 18th & 19th, 2020
In the small community of St. Jean Baptiste Manitoba, located in the heart of the Red River Valley, you will find one of Canada’s premier ATV derbies. This is an annual event which is held on the 3 weekend of September and has been running for over 15 years.
St. Jean Baptiste is a community with about 500 people and on derby weekend, the population more than triples. The reason this event is so successful for this community is the organizing committee, volunteers and our landowners.
Our first year consisted of 75 machines and a total of $2000.00 raised. Now, over 15 years later, we average 1200 machines and 1500 participants. We have raised a total of approximately $250,000.00 for our small community, something we are all very proud of. Many committees within our town are recipients to this fundraiser such as; St. Jean Fire Department, St. Jean Arena, HOK Festival, Étoiles de l’Rouge daycare, ringette & hockey teams, St. Jean Church as well as other projects that have been or are being completed in the community.
The weekend event takes about 150 volunteers in order for this to run so smoothly and the community, year after year, comes together and makes it happen. The volunteering doesn’t just start derby weekend, there are months of preparations to be done. We have crews that work tirelessly for weeks in the trails to make sure they are all ready & safe for our participants. We started over 15 years ago with chainsaws, muscle power and mowers, now have the ability to rent skidsteers and still use a few chainsaws. A lot of work goes in to make sure all trails are safe for everyone to ride.
Our landowners definitely deserve a big THANK YOU! Without the permission of the landowners to access their property, our derby would never be able to run.
Our trail which is about 40 kilometres in length is located along the scenic Red River and is never really more than 3 kilometres away from town. We start off the weekend with “Friday Night Lights” mud bog contests and evening entertainment. Then we roll out Saturday morning with registration, silent auction & quad raffle tickets before you hit the trail. Lunch can be found about halfway through the trail, with homemade soups, chilli, burgers, hot dogs, snacks & drinks. With the check stops along the way, you can take a rest to enjoy riding through mud holes or watch the machines go tearing through or getting stuck. Upon return to the park, you can enjoy supper from one of our vendors, canteen or just stick around for the draw for prizes and the evening entertainment.