(Michigan City, IN) - Festivities leading up to a weekend of powerboat racing in Michigan City begin on Wednesday.
Racers in the Great Lakes Grand Prix could be given even more of a warm welcome because the annual event consistently drawing over 100,000 people was canceled by COVID-19 last year. LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jack Arnett told HTNN, "I think everybody is really excited, obviously, being under the circumstances we all lived through last year."
The races are the third stop in the six-race American Power Boat Association National Championship Series. Among the competitors will be the Miss Geico Offshore Racing Team, which holds the top ranking in the Class ONE division. The Class ONE division was created in 2019 to attract top-ranked teams in the fastest class of racing.
“The Great Lakes Grand Prix is one of the top events of the year. I love Michigan City and can’t wait to be back in the driver’s seat of the Miss Geico to compete in the races,” said powerboat racer Brit Lilly.
According to the Miss Geico team, Lilly will again be paired with throttleman Steve Curtis to win another championship in the 47-foot long boat powered by twin 1100 horsepower engines.
There are other events also happening during the Grand Prix weekend. A golf outing at Michigan City Municipal Golf Course at noon Wednesday kicks off the festivities. Registration begins at 11 A.M. All drinks, lunch, and prizes are included in the $100 entry fee per player and $400 per foursome.
Thursday features a VIP Party from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. at Sunset Grille. In addition, Aftermath, a classic rock and country music band, performs at Washington Park Beach from 7 P.M. to 11 P.M.
The Taste of Michigan City downtown on Franklin Street is scheduled Friday from 4-11 P.M. along with the classic rock band, WYSIWYG, playing at Washington Park Beach from 7-11 P.M.
Saturday’s activities begin with Four A’s Vintage Car Show from 8 A.M. to 3 P.M. Then, the Taste of Michigan City returning downtown from 12-11 P.M. The racing on Saturday runs from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Powerboats along with jet-ski racers from the P1 Aqua X series out of Florida will take turns racing on the water. A boat parade and block party on Franklin Street will run later from 6-8 P.M. The classic rock band, Point’n Fingers will perform from 7-11 P.M. at Washington Park Beach.
The car show continues on Sunday from 8 A.M. to 3 P.M. Powerboat and jet ski racing will resume from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Arnett said the awards ceremony would be held at the shoreline for the jet-ski racers and Blue Chip Casino for the powerboat racers.
This will be the 12th Great Lakes Grand Prix which set an attendance record of more than 200,000 for all of the events during and leading up to the race in 2019.
More than $13 million was also generated for the local economy, according to the LCCVB.
“We’re really to roll. We expect this Grand Prix to probably set some records number-wise just because of folks wanting to get out and enjoy the good weather,” Arnett said.