Indiana go-kart race, festival return after 2020 cancelation

ELKHART, Ind. — A northern Indiana city is bringing back a summer festival built around go-kart racing a year after the family-oriented event was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Elkhart officials announced Wednesday that the Thor Industries Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix will return Aug. 13-14, with go-kart racing along city streets, live music, fireworks and other events.

The race will be hosted in collaboration with U.S. Auto Club Karting and will this year include a redeveloped park between the front stretch and the pit area, The Elkhart Truth reported.

Mayor Rod Roberson said he and other city officials are “thrilled” by the race’s return after a pandemic time-out.

“As we come out of COVID, whatever this virus looks like in our community come August, we know USAC will ensure the Elkhart Grand Prix is a safe and enjoyable event for everyone,” he said in a statement.

Former Mayor Tim Neese brought back the Grand Prix in 2017 after a two-decade hiatus.

This year’s event kicks off on Friday, Aug. 13, with practice, qualifying, and special events along with the first of two free nights of concerts on a new permanent concert stage. Practice and qualifying races will follow on Saturday, Aug. 14, before the Thor Industries celebrity races open the racing.

That will be followed by the USAC Karting feature events, followed by more free concerts and a closing fireworks show after the final checkered flag.