The annual Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races started Friday.
The three-day racing event is expected to draw thousands of people to Forest County.
This will be Dawn Kloss’ 19th year attending the races at Crandon International Raceway.
“We love the comradery. We love seeing new people and then seeing the people we see every year,” said Kloss.
She’s traveling from Chippewa Falls with her family and friends. They have eight camping spots reserved for the big weekend.
Kloss has had these spots and tickets booked since January. This year’s race happening in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t give her much pause.
“We’re not too worried about it, I guess. We’re outside and we don’t have anybody with any real health issues so we’re just going to go with it and hope it goes good,” said Kloss.
Hundreds of people packed into downtown Crandon Friday afternoon for the annual parade.
The Sokaogon Chippewa Community based in Mole Lake voiced concerns about the races. It asked the raceway to cancel over fear it will spread COVID-19 in Forest County.
The raceway said it has a COVID-19 response plan reviewed by the Sheriff’s Office and the County Health Department.
If the races draw in crowds like it usually does, this could be one of the largest event held in Wisconsin since the start of the pandemic.
Despite these concerns Kloss says she’s looking forward to the weekend with family and friends.
“We all get along so well and bet on the races in between each other. At night, hanging out, campfire, even with the loud music around we just love it,” said Kloss.