Polaris celebrating 50 years of progress

Polaris celebrating 50 years of progress by David Lias Over the last 50 years, Polaris Industries have made a lot of friends, ranging from employees to dealers to happy customers.

It's a good reason to celebrate. Polaris Industries of Vermillion held festivities April 2, including everything from a large anniversary cake to free t-shirts for workers.

"Polaris is celebrating a half century in business. It's a year-long celebration and each site is having a kick-off," said Angela Jackson, a team leader at Polaris Industries in Vermillion, "which culminates with the formal corporate event July 23 and 24 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, MN."

On April 2, a balloon drop was held inside Vermillion's Polaris building. Employees who caught balloons with a red ribbon attached won a 50th anniversary hooded Polaris sweatshirt.

All workers received free t-shirts that day, Jackson said, "as a gift from Polaris to show its pride in 50 years of continuous service."

More celebrations are planned at Polaris in Vermillion early this summer. June 11 is employee appreciation day.

On June 12, the company will focus its attention on its customers.

"We are going to open up our doors to the general public, have free tours and serve a free pancake breakfast," she said. "We are going to be giving stuff away, and more people are jumping on board as far covering events.

"We're going to have live product demonstrations, and we're going to set up a tent out front so people can see some of our new stuff that we have to purchase," Jackson said.

A Polaris historian will also be present June 12 talking about the history of the snowmobile industry.

"He'll talk about where we've come from and where we're going," she said.

The birthplace and heart of Polaris, Roseau, MN, will hold its kick-off celebration on June 18, 19, and 20. The event will include street dances, an ATV rodeo, a free pancake breakfast, historical displays and exhibitions by the Polaris Thrill Team.

To put a finish on all this celebrating, Polaris has planned a party so big that it has to host it on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Live music will be provided by .38 Special, Jonny Lang, John Fogerty, and Clint Black.

There also will be demo rides, a special place for the youngsters, an historical display, and a parade mixed with lots of food and fun and games.

Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, Victory motorcycles and the Polaris RANGER for recreational and utility use.

The Polaris Professional Series, a line of heavy duty WorkmobilesTM targeted at lawn and landscape companies, equipment rental companies and construction operations, marks Polaris' expansion into the commercial equipment marketplace.

With annual 2003 sales of over $1.6 billion, Polaris is a recognized leader in the snowmobile industry; one of the largest manufacturers of all terrain vehicles (ATVs) in the world; and a leading manufacturer of personal watercraft. Victory motorcycles was established in 1998, and represents the first all-new American-made motorcycle in nearly 60 years. It is rapidly making impressive in-roads into the motorcycle cruiser marketplace.

Polaris also enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Pure Polaris apparel, accessories and parts, available at Polaris dealerships. Consumers can also purchase apparel and vehicle accessories anytime at polarisindustries.com

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