GREAT LAKES GRAND PRIX
Thousands of visitors head to Michigan City’s Washington Park each summer for a spectacle of speed and sound as some of the world’s fastest and most colorful powerboats roar across Lake Michigan at this race, officially titled the Michigan City Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Great Lakes Grand Prix presented by Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa. Celebrating its 10th year in 2018, the four-day event will be held Aug. 2-5.
You’ll feel the rumble of 3,000-horsepower engines as these powerboats race by at speeds nearing 200 miles per hour, creating rooster-tail water sprays on an ever-changing course that challenges racers with water and waves. The race is part of the thrilling summer race circuit staged by Super Boat International, North America’s top organization for the sport, and is expected to draw more than 25 powerboats this year. There’s plenty of activity away from the water too. The annual boat parade, a vintage car show, live bands, and vendors selling both food and race souvenirs are all on tap. Many of the events and admission to the race are free. Friday and Saturday evening, enjoy live entertainment on the Boardwalk in Washington Park.
The Taste of Michigan City, sponsored by the Michigan City Mainstreet Association, is scheduled, in conjunction with the race, on Friday and Saturday. The event brings dozens of local restaurants to the Uptown Arts District, giving people an opportunity to sample the delicious fare available around town.
Following the downtown boat parade on Saturday, spectators are invited to attend a block party where they can meet the teams, take photos and see the boats close-up. Spending time there and at the Grand Prix’s other events gives visitors an opportunity to meet the racers so they can root for their favorites on race day.
On Sunday, it’s time for the star of the show – the races! Before things get going, bid on items in a silent auction, with proceeds going to charity in honor of the Michigan City Emergency Management Volunteers who work so tirelessly during the race event. Auction items range from woman’s jewelry and hotel and restaurant gift certificate to sports memorabilia.
Then the races begin both at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. when the cheering of the crowds and roar of the powerboats make beautiful music together.