NORTH TONAWANDA – The fastest show on water – Thunder on the Niagara – will return to the Niagara River and Gratwick-Riverside Park for an eleventh year on Aug. 6 and 7.
The two-day boat racing event is presented by the Niagara Frontier Boat Racing Association and the American Canadian Hydroplane Association and key sponsor Snyder Industries.
Close to 90 hydroplanes of varying sizes are expected to race this year, including boats in the Grand Prix division, where speeds approach 170 miles per hour.
The nearly 10,000 onlookers that attend each year are able to enjoy the sights and sounds from a number of vantage points in Gratwick-Riverside Park as the hydroplanes thunder down the Niagara River. In between races there are a variety of vendors in the park, including food vendors and crafters, as well as a kids zone with a petting zoo.
For landlubbers there will also be a new event this year, “Rumble at the Niagara” presented by Buffalo Motorama , which will be held on Saturday in conjunction with the event, featuring 400 custom cars and motorcycles.
Admission to the event is free, but there is a $10 donation fee for parking, which includes a souvenir program. Proceeds benefit Twin Cities Community Outreach, which supports the Food Pantry, Clothes Closet and Meals on Wheels in the Twin Cities.
Doors open at 8 a.m. each day and racing is held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.