Q&A with professional snowmobile freestyle rider Justin Hoyer

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Wyman's Winter Festival schedule of events

Saturday

9 a.m. Vintage snowmobile show

9 a.m. Xtreme Mountain Racing Snocross, all ages

10 a.m. Draft horse pulls

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Professional ice carving

10 a.m. Pond puck hockey tournament. Craig vs. Oak Creek, followed by youth games.

11 a.m. Cardboard box derby entries due

11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Chili cook-off

1 to 3 p.m. Ice fishing derby. Poles provided by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

1 p.m. Cardboard box derby judging/races

6 p.m. Snowmobile freestyle show

7 p.m. Fireworks

All events are at Wyman Living History Museum. A sledding hill for children is available all day, and tubes will be provided.

— Among the biggest attractions at Wyman’s Winter Festival this weekend will be the freestyle snowmobile show.

Watching riders flip and come off the seats of their snowmobiles only to return to position just before the machine comes back to earth is a thrilling sight all on its own. Adding professional freestylers to the equation takes it to another level.

That is just what attendees of the Winter Festival will get Saturday evening, when riders from Warrior Freestyle team up with professional freestyle rider Justin Hoyer to put on a show and help close down the festivities.

Hoyer is an accomplished freestyle rider on the professional circuit. The 31-year-old has won gold in the Snowmobile Freestyle event at the X Games, and he won bronze this year.

The Craig Daily Press spoke with Hoyer about coming to Craig to participate in the festival.

Craig Daily Press: Where are you originally from?

Justin Hoyer: I am originally from and currently live in Ellsworth, Wis.

CDP: How long have you been doing snowmobile freestyle? How did you get started?

JH: I have been doing freestyle for about 10 years. I started by riding motocross first, then doing freestyle motocross, and then I got an offer to try freestyle on snowmobiles and I picked it up really fast and won my third event.

CDP: How did you decide to come to Craig for this year's Winter Festival?

JH: I am good friends from way back with the Warrior Freestyle guys, Henry, Josh and the crew. I have done events for them for a long time now and they have always treated me very well and I always have a good time. So when I got the call to do this I said yes, naturally. I have to drive from home from Craig, which is a 2,200-mile round trip, but I don’t mind. Like I said, I always have a good time and they are friends, so it’s a good excuse to hang out for a weekend.

CDP: You're very accomplished on the professional circuit. What is it like coming to a more community-centered festival as opposed to pro competitions like the X Games?

JH: I like doing smaller events like this once in a while because it reminds me of my younger days when I did many events like this one. The majority of the events I do now are big, high-stress deals and it wears on a guy after a while. This is fun and you meet a lot of cool people and you can just let go and be yourself.

CDP: What should attendees of the Winter Festival expect from the freestyle show?

JH: Well, anytime I do a show I get as much enjoyment out of it as the audience does. In a way it’s therapeutic in that it’s an outlet for me to share my passion and something I am good at with other people. For me, I really enjoy when it inspires people to pursue ambitions they may have. But back to the question of what they can expect ... I will try my best to entertain them to the best of my ability. They will see things done that they may not have ever seen live or things that defy their logic of physics. It will be a fun time at the very least, I can promise that.

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