Roseau County, Minnesota, is home to the world record for the largest parade of snowmobiles, having had 820 sleds on Feb. 21, 2004. But the town of Rangeley is going to take that record, said Jim Milligan, founder of the Rangeley World Record Snowmobile Ride for Cystic Fibrosis.

The third annual snowmobile parade will take place at 11 a.m. Feb. 7 in Oquossoc.

Milligan, 62, said it’s inevitable Rangeley will take the world record and bring recognition to one of Maine’s snowmobile destinations because to the people there, it’s not about the record.

A Rumford native from Gorham who has vacationed in Rangeley for 30 years, Milligan said he’s not an avid sled rider, just a guy who loves to give back in a town full of people like him.

But make no mistake, he said, Rangeley will take the record from Roseau.

This is your third effort to take the record but you’re not even close. Do you think you’ll get it?

It’s not about the record. It’s to help raise money for cystic fibrosis. I’ve been a part of lots of boards of directors for multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, the American Lung Association. I’ve been involved in a lot of charities since I was knee high to a grasshopper. It’s how my parents brought me up. I worked with the New England board of directors for cystic fibrosis for a while. The Northern New England chapter asked if I’d do an event in the Rangeley area. I said we can do something. I asked when they were thinking of us doing it. And they said they were thinking of six weeks. We put together a team; the volunteers up here are unbelievable. We picked a dead winter in February when there was nothing else going on. One of the local business owners said, “What’s the world record? Let’s see what we can do.” And it seemed like a perfect idea.

On a busy weekend there are 1,000 sleds in town. I thought we could do that in a heartbeat. But we wanted to do something to help the businesses, and to promote the area, and to raise a ton of money for cystic fibrosis.

We only had six weeks to plan it and we raised $9,700 with 167 sleds in the parade showing up in a complete blizzard. The second year we brought in 385 sleds, rented every available sled in Rangeley and raised $22,000. We are expecting even bigger numbers this year. We made it a two-day event; we have an auction.

So this effort is about the charity, but will you get the record?

Oh yes. What I’m trying to tell you, it’s not about breaking the record. It’s about getting money for cystic fibrosis. But we also plan to get to 820 sleds. Roseau County is home to Polaris, so it didn’t take too much for them to get it. We think we can break it. We will break it. And when we break it, we’ll break it again.

We document all riders by photos. We have designated stops to make sure every sled has gone through. We don’t want to bring the Guinness (Book of World Record) people in because we don’t want to pay them. So we are documenting it in case we do break it. But when we get closer, we will bring them in. We’ll get a major sponsor to cover that.

We’re hoping Roseau counters us at some point, that’s what I’m thinking is going to happen. Since we started, upstate New York is trying to get it. But we are the only ones who hold a charity ride.

When I talk to people after this ride, every rider feels so great. I have people who are not full-time riders out beating the streets for the auction, and selling decals and hats for the ride. It’s a group effort.

Do you have many riders from out of state who attend this?

Last year we had people coming from New York and Pennsylvania. This year we have a ton of people coming from Cape Cod, Vermont, and a ton from New Hampshire.

If you got the record, that would probably help the Rangeley region, don’t you think?

It would give Rangeley national recognition; it would be huge for the state of Maine. A lot of people don’t know Rangeley is a snowmobile destination but many do because it’s got so many miles of trails, and the trails are not crowded. It’s just fantastic riding.

How much of a snowmobile enthusiast are you?

I love going out. I love riding to lunch. But I’m not someone who goes off trail, an adventurer. But I have a snowmobile and I believe in the cause.