CLEARFIELD – High speed, full throttle outboard racers will roar into Curwensville Lake this Fourth of July.
Outboard Hydroplane Racing will be at the lake July 1-3, with events planned for the entire weekend as part of Family Fest at Curwensville Lake.
The boat races, at speeds of more than 90 mph, will highlight the weekend with racing throughout the day on both July 1 and July 2.
The boats that will be raced on the lake range in size from 10 to 13 feet, and the drivers of the boats crouch inside, using their body movements to control the craft. A special class for those ages 9 through 15 will also race on the lake during Family Fest.
Holly Komonczi, marketing specialist for the Clearfield County Tourism and Recreation Authority, told the Clearfield County Commissioners on Tuesday morning that the racing at the lake is sanctioned by the American Powerboat Association and is conducted by the Three Rivers Outboard Racing Association. That means the drivers in the event compete for points throughout the season. Racers are expected to come from Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey and Canada.
For this year, Komonczi and Sandy Fink Barrett, CCRTA director, said they expect about 80 boats to take part, but events in Lock Haven have drawn up to 180 boats.
On the third day of Family Fest, those who go to the lake will find all types of events. On July 3, volleyball begins at 8 a.m., and a hot-dog-eating contest (sponsored by the Smokehouse in Curwensville) and a watermellon-eating contest (melons donated by Aletta’s of Grampian) are planned as well. The Stat MedEvac helicopter will be on display at the event, too.
Barrett said a boat parade is planned on July 3, with the theme “Hometown Pride.” “No matter where your home is, decorate to reflect your hometown,” she said.
A disc jockey will play music at the lake throughout the afternoon and evening, with fireworks at the lake at 9:30 p.m. July 3.
“The hope is that this is going to become an annual event,” said Clearfield County Commissioner Chairman Mark McCracken.
“I want to make it as big as possible so that people come back,” said Komonczi. “We can only go one way, and that’s to grow.”
After the commissioners’ meeting, Komonczi told GantDaily that spectators will be able to watch from a safe viewing distance.
Admission to the lake will be $5 per person or $20 per car for the whole weekend. Admission also includes a day pass for the beach.
“This will only be a success if the entire community gets involved, supports this and embraces this,” Komonczi said.