BARK RIVER, Mich. (WJMN) – When the Off-Road Rumble comes to Bark River in August, you know everyone in town and beyond is that weekend.
“The camping facility here brings in 900 campsites, almost nearly 1,000 and so it doesn’t take long to fill this place up,” said Scott Kwarciany. “It looks pretty quiet right now but when it’s the weekend in August when it comes, it’s a very busy place. This is a professional off-road racing facility and we do have professionals from all over the country. As far as California and even internationally through Canada that come here. It’s a sanctioned event through Champ Off-Road. You’ll see it oftentimes on Speed Channel, ESPN, ABC and also live streamed. So this event is a large event.”
Bark River International Raceway runs just that one race every year and it’s all at the hands of a service organization.
“It is owned and operated by the Bark River Lions Club,” said Kwarciany. “We are a non-profit charitable organization and we put on one large event every year, a professional off-road race as our major fundraiser for the year. We support many organizations not only in the local community but also regionally throughout the Upper Peninsula and internationally too. Lions organization is an international organization that supports a lot of different things. Vision, diabetes awareness, things like that and we support all of those things but we try and focus on what we’re doing here in our own community.”
Kwarciany says this event put Bark River on the map.
“It’s important for people to come out and check it out. It’s because of what we do,” said Kwarciany. “We are a charitable organization that puts on a race event as a fundraiser. We’re not really a racing organization that just happens to do charity work. When people come out here for the first time and you really see what’s happening out here. Most people are very impressed.”
Kwarciany has been part of this organization for about 20 years.
“I grew up in this community and most people that are club members in this club are passionate about what we do in this community,” said Kwarciany. “It’s the service. Our motto is ‘We Serve.’ This is part of that. Without this, it makes serving a little bit more difficult but we always want to continue to do service projects in our community, it’s not always about the money. This organization, the Bark River Lions Club and everything that we’ve been able to accomplish here over 40-some years of putting on racing has really benefited the local economy, the local charities that we support and it’s really a great organization.”
Some upgrades are also coming to Bark River International Raceway.
“Well the biggest upgrade right now is this media building, muti-purpose building that we’re putting up,” said Kwarciany. “We’re putting up VIP suites, we’re moving all of our timing and scoring for the series there. A lot of our vending that we do for clothing sales, 50/50 raffles and things like that. We’re all moving it into one primary location now and because this is such a large building that we’re putting up, it will give a great view of the entire venue on race weekend. One of the best seats in the house.”
The 46th Annual Island Resort and Casino Off-Road Rumble will be held August 12 -14 at Bark River International Raceway. For more information on things like tickets or camping there that weekend, click here.