Officials announce Owensboro Hydrofair, which is set for August



OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – Wednesday, officials announced a new event, the Owensboro Hydrofair.

It will take place from August 14-16.

It’s been a little more than four decades since hydroplane racing happened off the banks of the Ohio River near downtown Owensboro. Organizers say it will take more than good crowds to keep races going in the future.

“I’m excited to have hydroplane racing back in Owensboro,” said CIty Commissioner Larry Maglinger during this afternoon’s announcement. 50 teams from seven different classes are expected to compete at the first races in the Owensboro area since 1978.

“The competition will be really fast. We call it nonstop racing because once one heat is over, the next one starts. You can come at any time of the day,” said Rany Lientz of American Hydroplane Events.

“I think it’d be good for downtown. Anytime you get people into the area, especially from out of the area, to showcase the city, I think that’s a good thing,” adds Kevin Hardy of Owensboro.

Mayor Tom Watson says the Hydrofair fills a spot on the calendar after the city decided to suspend the annual air show for a year.

“We thought it’d be a good time to take a break and this idea came forward, it was a perfect fit since we’ve had hydroplane racing on the river before,” he said.

Last year, Evansville Hydrofest organizers called off races for this year because of a lack of sponsorship money and no racing commission contract. Jagoe Homes is sponsoring this year’s race, but organizers say more sponsorship will be needed.

“I hope we have more folks kick on board because the whole idea is not to be a drain on the general fund. Hopefully, the festival will get close to what we need,” said Mayor Watson.

“I’m very confident that because of the way Owensboro operates their city, it will be a safe and successful event,” Lientz adds.

City officials also say they’ll need more than a hundred volunteers working the event to keep it running. In Owensboro, Mike Pickett, Eyewitness News.”


OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – Owensboro officials plan to announce a new community event that will bring hydroplanes back to the city.

Mayor Tom Watson confirmed hydroplane racing is returning to the Owensboro riverfront on Tuesday.

The city hosted the Owensboro Regatta before hydroplanes moved to Evansville in the 1980s.

The American Hydroplane Events Facebook page said the news conference will be held at the Owensboro Convention Center starting at 2 p.m.

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(This story was originally published on January 8, 2020)

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