Country Thunder: Record crowds expected, safety prep underway

Country music fans will descend on Twin Lakes this weekend, a field the setting for the Country Thunder music festival.

Organizers expect a record-breaking 40,000 people to attend the four-day festival – about seven times the small Kenosha County village's population. 

"It’s going to be a huge crowd, tons of country music fans," said Country Thunder's Megan Benoit.

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Right now, preparation from the stage to safety is underway.

"The stage is still being set up. We’ve got vendors coming in. This is where all of the finishing touches come together," Benoit said.

Country Thunder in Twin Lakes

Fans were already making their way to the grounds Wednesday – from the regulars who have made it a tradition, to newcomers from overseas.

"It’s my favorite thing that happens every year, quite literally my absolute favorite thing," said Joe Cickerillo of Illinois. "This is everything that I like in life."

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"I figured going to Country Thunder is probably the most American thing you can ever do as a tourist," Robin Nilsson of Sweden said.

With huge crowds comes a lot of traffic. The Kenosha County Sheriff's Department is asking drivers to pay attention; several roads will be closed. A command post will be on-site to help with any calls.

Kenosha County Sheriff's Department

"They’ve been heavily involved in everything. They’ve got an entire plan in place, as well as some extensive security on site," said Benoit.

Lee Brice headlines Country Thunder's opening night Thursday, July 21.