ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — The streets in downtown Rock Island will be packed with kart racers as the Rock Island Grand Prix returns this weekend.
The event is taking over several blocks in the downtown district all weekend, starting Friday night at about 5 p.m.
This is the 26th year the race has been held in Rock Island.
This year, though, some of the annual competitors who come from all over the country are not ready to travel just yet because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's races will be a little smaller than in years past, but will feature more racers from the Midwest, according to event organizers.
Roger Ruthhart is one of the main organizers for the two-day event. He said coming back this year, after taking last year off during the pandemic, was a challenge, but also said it is important for the event to safely continue this tradition.
"We have to sort of re-establish contact with volunteer groups and sponsors, race teams, all that sort of thing and try to get them engaged again and get them to come to Rock Island, so that's been the big challenge," said Ruthhart.
The streets will close Friday night and will reopen late on Sunday or early Monday morning.
Ruthhart said there is plenty of space for families and groups to social distance along the course.
Ruthhart also said organizers are still looking for volunteers to help throughout the weekend. If you or your group are interested in helping, you can contact Ruthhart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the weekend, including the schedules and course map, click here.