RANGELEY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Despite calls to have the festival cancelled, the Snodeo snowmobiling festival in Rangeley went on as planned this weekend.
Messages on social media circulated earlier this month, asking organizers to cancel out of respect for the families of three missing snowmobilers, presumed dead after falling through open water in a snowmobiling accident on Rangeley Lake on December 30.
Wardens have postponed recovery efforts for Glen Henderson, 43, of Sabattus, his cousin Ken Henderson, 40, of China, and their friend, John Spencer, 41, of Litchfield, due to extreme weather conditions.
Wardens hope to resume recovery efforts on Rangeley Lake in the coming weeks.
To remember the missing snowmobilers, Snodeo organizers held a vigil Friday night.
"It was a really nice tribute to the unfortunate accident," said Snodeo Chair Aimee Danforth.
She, and other organizers, made the call to continue Snodeo festivities because family members expressed it was what the Henderson's and Spencer would have wanted.
"[The family's] feeling is that it's an annual tradition," said Danforth. "It's unfortunate, a terrible, terrible tragedy. But they knew [they] would want it to continue."
This is the 36th year for the Snodeo festival in Rangeley.
Danforth said the event brings between three and eight thousand people in to the region each year.