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Riverside celebrates 50 years in St. Albert

As Riverside Honda & Ski Doo gets ready to celebrate its’ 50th anniversary, founder Art Perrott reflects on what it took to interject a little snowmobile fun into the city.

In the beginning, the snowmobiles were allowed both on the river and the streets. As the numbers increased, safety and public disturbances became an issue. St Albert then passed a bylaw in the early 70’s banning snowmobiles from the streets, parks and the river. Perrott, however, campaigned tirelessly for the right of riders to safely enjoy the sport within city limits. The bylaw was quashed in regards to the Sturgeon River because it is a federal waterway. And as the federal law states, municipalities and provinces do not have the right to control waterways or the air above.

It may seem funny now, but at the time, the issue of where snowmobiles could operate in the city was a very serious and sensitive one, with strong opinions on both sides.

Decades have passed, and Riverside Honda is still out there making a difference. In addition to selling a full line of Ski-Doos; Sea-Doos; Lund boats; Honda motorcycles, quads, side-by-sides and power equipment, the dealership is a familiar face at non-profit fundraising events. Riverside also supports several charitable organizations, and uses their equipment to assist in deep bush rescues.

Riverside Honda’s 50th anniversary bash celebrates their history, their community involvement, and their success – and they want to share it all with you. The fun starts on June 10 where mom and dad can scratch and save up to 50 per cent off parts and accessories, while the kids enjoy face painting, tattoos, and balloon animals. One lucky winner will choose a key and drive off with a brand new Honda quad. A fundraising barbeque and raffle (win $1,000 in cash or a 2017 Ski-Doo Tundra) will support the Stop Abuse in Families (SAIF) organization.

The fun keeps going on June 11 and July 16 when those that signed up for one of 50 Honda ATV and SSV demo rides go for a spin. The demo ride will be a bittersweet moment for Perrott and the founding staff of Riverside, as they remember how hard they fought to prove that their sport was safe, the snowmobiles wouldn’t be a disturbance in town, and that Riverside just wanted to be a positive influence and contributor to the community. Fifty years on, nobody can dispute those facts.

Riverside is a big part of the fabric that makes up St. Albert. Join the company as they celebrate this milestone with the community they serve and love.

St. Albert Gazette: The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.