It’s one of Michigan’s perennial mid-summer traditions. The annual 3-day Port Huron-to-Mackinac race gets underway Saturday morning – – and Port Huron is celebrating with its Blue Water Festival this weekend. The official name of this year’s race is “The Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race” — this year marking 86 consecutive years for the world class event that will set sail from Port Huron to Mackinac Island. More than 220 sailboats and 2,500 sailors will take part in the annual regatta with thousands of sailing fans and families attending the festive start in Port Huron.    

For only the second time ever, sailing fans in Michigan and the world will be able to monitor the historic race via the michigan.org Web site with Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking technology. Check it out at this link.

Meantime, Leanne Peart, with the Port Huron Downtown Development Authority, tells WWJ they’re expecting 150,000 people for the party.

“All though central downtown… our footprint is probably about ten blocks. And, there’s more than enough room for everyone,” Peart said. “Our merchants have some unique shopping experices for people to come on down and check out,” she said.

Peart said 52 local and national bands will play continuously.  There’s also a film festival, a juried art show, and Friday at 10 p.m., a “parade of lights” featuring powerboats along the Black River.

Everything’s free, except food and drink.

Get more festival information here.

Learn more about the Bayview Mackinac Race race at this link.

If Port Hurons a little too far for you, the 11th Annual “Quake on the Lake” Inboard Hydroplane Races will churn up the waters of Pontiac Lake Friday through Sunday, with 100 of the world’s best racers putting it all on the line to set new speed records.

For more about Quake on the Lake and a schedule of events go to www.QuakeOnTheLake.org.

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