Michigan City, IN (May 23, 2019) – Visit Michigan City LaPorte is happy to announce the return of the “Award-Winning Great Lakes Grand Prix. A new partnership between the world’s leading marine motorsport brand, Powerboat P1 and OPA Racing has created the American Power Boat Association (APBA) Offshore Championship with Michigan City set to host the penultimate round.
This is a new partnership for the Great Lakes Grand Prix and the aim is to strengthen the future of racing in the country by delivering an expanded, cohesive, world class championship split equally between northern and southern states, and the belief is that the new series will produce significant results commercially and also in terms of the sport’s organization and profile.
The Great Lakes Grand Prix staged over the weekend of August 1-4 will be celebrating its 11th anniversary. Visitors to last year’s event pumped more than $12.4 million into LaPorte County’s economy, the highest amount ever and $2 million more than the 2017 event. In addition, a report summarizing the figures, released by Visit Michigan City LaPorte, shows an all-time high attendance of more than 190,000 people for the three-day event.
For the race weekend in Michigan City, P1 will serve up a double bill of powerboat and personal watercraft AquaX racing. The AquaX USA Pro Series attracts outstanding riders from across the United States and Canada, as well as South America and Europe, and the series will head to Indiana for the third round of the six-venue championship.
The first Great Lakes Grand Prix Golf Outing will be hosted at the Michigan City Municipal Golf Course on July 31st. Put together a team or sponsor a hole and help support this event. The Geico team and many others will be out here enjoying the day and all the proceeds will be donated to Reins of Life. Reins provides therapeutic horse assisted riding lessons for children and adults with disabilities. For more information call Chris Magnuson, 219-873-1516 or email him at Cmagnuson@emichigancity.com.
The event schedule is still being worked on, however there will be a ribbon cutting and VIP event showcasing race boats on Thursday evening at the Sunset Grille in Washington Park, with ribbon cutting at 5:30 pm and VIP event from 6-8 pm. Join us on the boardwalk from 6-10pm for free live entertainment by “Smarty Pants”.
On Friday Race City will open with food and merchandise vendors at noon, then from 10 am to 2 pm there will be an on-the-water poker run. Point’n Fingers will be entertaining for free on the boardwalk from 6-10 pm.
The VIP race viewing at the boardwalk tents will begin on Saturday. At noon registration begins for the bean bag tournament and the bags will fly at 1 pm, then Pablo’s Revenge will offer more free entertainment at the Washington Park Boardwalk from 7-11 pm.
There will be a catered VIP brunch on Sunday followed that evening with the racer’s trophy event at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa starting at 5 pm. Both the Saturday and Sunday VIP events/brunch are sponsored by NIPSCO. Come to our office to purchase your VIP credentials after July 1st.
Food and beer garden will be available for sale on Friday starting at 11 am and on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 am.
And that’s not all; many of the events and entrance to the race are free! Free admission to the Great Lakes Grand Prix sites is as follows:
The “Taste of Michigan City” is scheduled to begin on Friday, August 2nd from 4 pm-11 pm and on Saturday from noon-11 pm. The “Taste” will be held on Franklin Street between 7th Street and 4th Street, with a free shuttle loop running from Washington Park and Taste of Michigan City, with a pickup point at 6th and Pine Street. A continuous free shuttle service will run from Washington Park and Aims Field both Saturday and Sunday. Due to expectations of large crowds, we are urging everyone to take advantage of the free parking and free shuttle.
On Saturday, from 10 am-4 pm, there will be a vintage car show in Washington Park presented by Four A’s Car Club, and you can have fun watching the EVP Volleyball Tournament.
On Saturday evening at 6 pm, the Boat Parade and Block Party will begin in downtown Michigan City. The boat parade will travel north on Franklin Street from 9th Street to 4th Street. Here you can meet the race teams and get a close-up look at the boats. There will be no entrance fee to the event and the party will include a “Taste of Michigan City” featuring local restaurants, sponsored by the Michigan City Mainstreet Association.
On Sunday, there will be a charity silent auction beginning at 10 am with all proceeds going to the Michigan City Emergency Management Volunteers.
After spending time at the event’s first four days getting to know the racers and their boats, spend Saturday and Sunday rooting for the team you’ve adopted as your favorite. There will be racing both Saturday and Sunday. Also, Purdue Boilermaker Special will be on display at Race Village on Sunday from 9:30am-3:30pm.
Miss Duneland 2019, Samantha Shank, has agreed to be Miss Great Lakes Grand Prix this year and you can meet her at the VIP events and during the boat parade.
There will be more surprises scheduled, so stay turned for future announcements.
For more information go to www.greatlakesgrandprix.com or call the Visitors Center at 219-872-5055.
2019 APBA Offshore Championship Race Calendar
May 17-19 Cocoa Beach, FL
May 31-June 2 Lake of the Ozarks, MO
July 5-7 Sarasota, FL
July 26-28 St. Clair, MI
August 2-4 Michigan City, IN
Sept. 28-29 Clearwater, FL