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Another busy burnout in Ely

Lead Summary
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by Tom Coombe
Ely’s fastest six hours was done loudly, and proudly, yet again.
Near perfect weather meant “an almost perfect day for a car show,” Al Forsman said this week, in the aftermath of the event he started in memory of his late son.
The Jake Forsman Memorial Car Show and Burnout Competition attracted well over a dozen “burnout” competitors, 107 car show entries and hundreds of spectators on a gorgeous, sunny late-fall afternoon.
For much of Saturday, the area around City Hall was transformed, with several blocks closed off for both the car show and the competition.
“I couldn’t be more happy with the turnout we had,” said Al Forsman. “There were tons of people milling about, just relaxing, being neighborly. It was great to see.”
Two burnout competitions took place with a morning session followed by an afternoon show.
Spectators stayed behind giant barricades in front of City Hall, and the evidence of the event could be seen in the aftermath.
“There’s some art on the road,” said Forsman. “It’s pretty.”
Jaden Jantz of Embarrass, driving a 1986 Chevrolet K10, was named the overall winner of the burnout event.
The runner-up was Ely’s Bryan Seliskar, who drove a 1995 Chevrolet Short Box.
The hard-luck burnout title went to Danny Forsman of Ely, who was behind the wheel of a 1978 Chevrolet Camaro.
In all, there were 16 contenders in the morning burnout event and another 15 in the afternoon.
The car show portion of the event was bigger than ever, with 107 entries overall.
“There were out of 30 car show awards, six came from Ely, which means we’re bringing in people from all over the state,” said Forsman.
Winners came from Winona, International Falls, Lino Lakes and Danbury, Wisc. and other participants traveled even further.
“They’re coming from everywhere,” said Forsman.
The Ely Fire Department grilled burgers and hot dogs, and a throng of about 50 volunteers, dubbed “Team Orange” assisted on Saturday to put it on.
All proceeds from the event go to the Jake Forsman Memorial Scholarship Fund, with $12,000 awarded in scholarships this year to students pursuing careers in building and mechanical trades.
Since the event’s inception, roughly $36,000 has been raised for scholarships.
Jake Forsman passed away in 2016, and his father started the event the following year. The two had seen a similar show on a trip to the west and spoke one day of holding one in Ely.
It has quickly become a staple on Ely’s fall calendar and played to rave reviews last weekend.
“It was a sight to behold,” said Ely Mayor Roger Skraba.

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