A majority of the details are finalized, the billboard is up and everything is a go for a huge off-road racing event headed to the Langlade County Fairgrounds track the first weekend in June.
The Antigo Off-Road National, courtesy of the Antigo Lions Club, is set for June 5-6. The event is one of six stops on the Championship Off-Road circuit’s national tour, which includes the wildly popular Crandon Brush Run, as well as the World Championship in the fall, also held at the Crandon International Off-Road Raceway.
“Things are moving really well,” Zach Zagar of the Lions Club said. “We are getting a lot of local support, businesses, sponsorships, all on board.”
Expect nearly all of the same drivers you might see in Crandon, right here in Antigo.
“All the biggest names in off-road racing will be here,” Zagar said. “There’s lot of teams from out West, all the big dogs are coming, it’s going to be incredible racing.”
The event here will kick off the season, with the initial stop in Crandon set for June 26-27; Elk River, Minn., hosting a July 9-10 race; Lena is the site July 31-Aug. 1; Bark River, Minn., Aug. 14-15; and the 52nd Polaris Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races finishing things off Sept. 3-4.
The only parts of the event not yet finalized, is the musical entertainment, but Zagar says local acts will play on Friday night, and if everything holds together, a national recording artist will perform Saturday.
While a number of business sponsors are already in place, more are certainly welcome.
It’s great exposure for any group or business, and the event will even be broadcast on national television, airing on the cable outlet, the CBS Sports Network, which the series has signed a deal with.
“It’s huge for this to be on television and have that type of coverage for our races in Antigo,” Zagar noted.
Of course, the Lions Club’s involvement means a number of local youth community groups will benefit, all lending their volunteers, while the club gives back proceeds to them.
The Blue Line Club, Gridiron Club, Antigo Area Youth Hockey Association, Gymnastics Club, Trap Club and Youth Bowling are among the organizations which will benefit.
“We are a nonprofit and give everything back to the community,” Zagar explained. “There’s a lot of good things that come out of us. At the end of it, I’m hoping we do make some profit, but what we do with that profit is give it right back to the community.”
Attendance is expected to be high, and the club is expanding seating by bringing in 3,500 seats via portable bleachers to accommodate.
Everything is planned out in detail, including parking with several adjacent lots and fields rented for vehicle overflow and buses and golf carts ready to go to shuttle those who need it to the grounds. VIP handicap parking will also be made available.
And in true Lions Club fashion, the fairgrounds track and facility will be left in likely even better shape then before the event.
The announcing booth is being rebuilt, with a brand new floor and roof put in courtesy of the Lions, who will also add and repair some fence areas.
“We’re bringing a lot of things up to date and trying to do some betterment there,” Zagar said. “In the long run, we hope to come back here every year. This first year will cost us a little bit more, but we’re trying to build for the future as well.”
While COVID-19 is still on most minds, Zagar assures potential attendees that safety measures will be in place.
“With it being outdoors it can be a pretty safe thing,” he said. “The series does take a lot of COVID precautions and anything they tell us we need to do, we will listen and do our best to keep everyone safe.”
Tickets are already available and can be purchased at Langlade Ford and Absolute Realtors. A weekend pass is $50, while a one-day pass is $30 and kids 12 and under are free.
More and updated information is available at www.champoffroad.com, with a local link soon to be added.
Any local business wishing to be a sponsor or be involved, can reach Zagar at 715-216-5507 or email@example.com.