CHESTER, S.D. (KELO) — It’s the middle of winter and while that means a lot of people are hunkering down indoors, people in Lake County are doing just the opposite. The group known as Lake County Racing is holding fun, competitive ice racing events at Brant and Long Lakes.
When the lakes ice over in the Chester area, the action really revs up.
These races, featuring kids and adults, are a great boredom buster. They’re also good for businesses in the area like The Shipwreck Bar and Grill.
“There’s not a lot going on this time of year. It pulls from a lot of different communities. Gives people something to do, something to come out of their houses and come see,” John Dougan said.
John and Melissa Dougan own The Shipwreck. They say ice racing brings in visitors from all over.
“Ice races have been going on for a long time around here. So it’s become a bit of a tradition for Brandt Lake and Chester community. It brings a lot of people out from not only this area but Sioux Falls and Minnesota and Iowa,” Dougan said.
Mother Nature delayed the start of the racing season that alternates between Brant Lake and Long Lake. Racer and Lake County Racing member Micah Schliemann says the schedule is really cooking now.
“We missed a few races. The ice has been questionable. It’s gotten a lot better after that blizzard weekend. We’ve got good, safe ice out here,” Schliemann said.
That means a lot of participation and big crowds. Schliemann says in addition to adults, kids from six to twelve years old are racing mini bikes and four wheelers. There’s even prize money and gear on the line. It’s all in an effort to heat up the activity here during the coldest months of the year.
“Finding ways to make this thing better and bigger. If you come up on a Sunday, nothing to do, I think you’re going to enjoy it,” Schliemann said.