The 36th annual ABATE Freedom Rally begins Thursday, bringing thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts to Kossuth County amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Local Public Health and Emergency Management officials are encouraging area residents to limit their trips to places frequented by the rally goers, including grocery stores, bars and eating establishments.

ABATE, which stands for A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education, is requiring all attendees to fill out a medical questionnaire and sign a waiver before they enter Freedom Park, the nearly 140-acre site 7 miles northeast of Algona.

While they will require the questionnaire and are asking anyone who may be sick to stay home, ABATE says they want their patrons to do whatever they want to feel safe. Things like masks, gloves and social distancing will be encouraged but not required. Those attending the rally are also being asked to minimize their trips into town for supplies.

The rally officially begins at 10 a.m. Thursday and will wrap up on the evening of July 4th.

(By Brian Wilson, KLGA, Algona)