Musher Gregg Vitello's sled dogs cannot contain their excitement at the starting gate on Main Street in Fort Kent as they prepare to run in the Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Races. Credit: Jessica Potila / St. John Valley Times

FORT KENT, Maine — Thousands of spectators flock to Fort Kent’s Main Street each year to see the Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Races, and now even more fans will be able to watch the event from anywhere in the world.

For the first time, WFKTV Channel 4 will provide a livestream of New England’s longest sled dog race free to viewers.

Attendees this year will notice the absence of a familiar voice at the starting line with the retirement of longtime announcer Alain Ouellette.

“He used to do the whole thing himself. Some years he would have 90 mushers to prep,” Can-Am President Dennis Cyr said. “He would start talking at about seven o’clock in the morning straight to noontime. He was so organized; he did a fantastic job.”

Multiple new announcers will take the makeshift stage — a tractor-trailer bed set up adjacent to the starting line — at this year’s event.

Lynn Cyr, Dennis Cyr’s wife, will announce the 250-mile race. Kevin Lavoie will fill in for the 100-mile race, and Peter Marquis will call the 30 mile-race.

Though he has every confidence in the new team of announcers, Ouellette will be missed, Cyr said.

“All these years I always said he was the face of Can-Am,” Cyr said. “He was so thorough and organized. I never had to bother with the Main Street start; he would take care of it all. He never wanted recognition or anything; he would just do his job. He’s a great guy.”

So far, 64 mushers have registered for the Irving Woodlands Can-Am Crown 250, Willard Jalbert Jr. Can-Am 100 and Pepsi/Native Dog Food Can-Am 30.

The mushers and their teams will take off from the starting gate in downtown Fort Kent at 8 a.m. Saturday.

WFKTV is a nonprofit organization that broadcasts St. John Valley events to cable subscribers.

The live broadcast can be viewed at or