Excitement will come back to Three Lakes Friday and Saturday, June 24-25, after a two-year break with the return of the 13th annual shootout and radar run on Big Stone Lake.

“The Three Lakes Shootout/Radar Run was canceled due to the pandemic in June 2020 and June 2021,” said Aaron Aschenbrenner, Shootout Planning Committee chairman. “We are happy to be back for 2022 with new owners at Anchor Marine and the Sunset Grill, as well as Bonnie’s Lakeside, now SpiritView Lakeside.”

Race boats from all over the Midwest will challenge the radar gun on the 1,000-foot shootout course in front of Sunset Grill on Highway 32 just east of Three Lakes.

Starting Friday, June 24, optional boat tours of the Three Lakes Chain of Lakes will depart from Sunset Grill at about 1 p.m. Race registration opens at SpiritView Lakeside (formerly Bonnie’s Lakeside) at 5 p.m. The public is invited to view the race boats up close, and then stick around for the outdoor bar. Live music will begin at 9 p.m. at SpiritView.

Then on Saturday, high-powered boats of all kinds will race for top speeds beginning at 11 a.m. Races will run until 5 p.m. and all proceeds will go to benefit the Oneida County American Veterans (AmVets). An awards ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m.

Free spectator parking will be allowed along Connors Road with free shuttle rides to the grounds.

Bleacher seating will be located adjacent to the Sunset Grill with food and beverages for purchase, as well as T-shirt sales and 50-50 raffles.

The shootout is an individual competition of driver and boat against the radar gun for “Top Gun” bragging rights, Aschenbrenner said. Racers are divided into 11 classes depending on engine, boat configuration, and includes a Fun class.

From a standing start, registered boats will attain maximum speed over a 1,000-foot by 100-foot, buoy-marked course and have their speed recorded by radar gun at the finish line. There will be a 300-foot slow down zone following the radar course.

Organizers noted that for safety’s sake, the entire bay on Big Stone Lake where the event will occur has been declared a slow-no-wake zone by the town of Three Lakes for the day of June 25.

Drivers can pass by the finish line boat on their way back to shore to see their time immediately after their run.

On-water enforcement of safety issues will be provided, as well as distinctly marked on-water, safety patrol wardens. There also will be a team of rescue divers with appropriate medical staff and ambulance adjacent to the course during the entire event.

“The previous shootout committee has added many new faces and retired a few veterans, but has kept the basic, successful event the same as always,” said Aschenbrenner. “Many members of the organizing committee have taken roles as advisors, but remain actively involved and excited about returning this year.”

Organizers said they have attempted to make free viewing a top priority for the public’s benefit. There will be free parking at the site with bleachers to make viewing easier. In addition, on-water viewing will be possible by boats arriving on the chain of lakes, lining up and lashing together, side-by-side along the shootout course (subject to a buoy-marked safety set-back zone).

“By lashing together, the spectator boats are more stable, enhance viewing, and create a great fun atmosphere for everyone. This also enhances safety since the boats running the ‘chute’ will also have to navigate through the spectator boats on their way back to the starting line for subsequent runs,” Aschenbrenner said.

Last time the event was held in 2019, shootout organizers were able to donate $2,400 to the Oneida County AmVets.

There are 58 AmVets chapters in Wisconsin — the closest one being AmVets Post 724 in Rhinelander. Members of Post 724 have volunteered at the Three Lakes Shootout for the past five years, assisting with traffic control, food service and parking.

For more information on the event, visit threelakesshootout.org or contact (715) 546-8333 or aaron.aschenbrenner@gmail.com.