The 4th of July is synonymous with one thing in Southwest Michigan and that's RedBud.
The biggest race in all of motocross is Saturday in the small town of Buchanan, Michigan which swells to the size of nearly 30,000 for the annual event.
Hundreds of RV's were on site at RedBud already on Thursday to celebrate the holiday and get ready for the pro race Saturday.
"The best place to be on the 4th of July is RedBud," says pro rider Mike Alessi, who is currently 6th in the points standings in AMA Motocross. "Ready to have to fun on the weekend and enjoy it."
Alessi was among a number of pros who hit the track for a practice session on Thursday. 2011 champion Chad Reed was also out there enjoying himself.
"This is my 2nd year as an American citizen," the Australian born Reed explains. "I'm excited. It's a holiday you looking forward to not only because its the 4th of July but because it also means its RedBud week."
Reed missed last year's RedBud race due to knee surgery. He is struggling so far this year but is hoping RedBud is the race to turn his season around.
Legendary Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael is also in town this week. Carmichael retired from competitive racing in 2007 but he took the bike out for some fun. Six years after his last pro race, Carmichael was able to clear RedBud's famous LaRocco's Leap. Although--on one jump--he barely did it. A foot shorter could have been a disaster.
Even still, Carmichael is enjoying his time as the celebrity of the event and not as a competitor focused on winning it.
"RedBud is the place to be on the 4th of July," Carmichael says. "These fans are the most patriotic, excited fans. These people wait for this all year long. It's just a fun weekend."
"I'm glad I got to check it out not from a racing standpoint this year. Just a great place. I love this place. How can you not have fun at RedBud. Everyone needs to come check it out."
The 40th RedBud National is Saturday with opening ceremonies starting at 12:30 and the first big race beginning just after 1pm.
The Finals will be broadcast live on WNDU Saturday at 3pm.
If you want to be there live, tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for kids ages 6-11.