LAPORTE | Organizers of the upcoming Maple City Grand Prix in LaPorte went over parking and other details of the boat race Tuesday night in front of about 50 mostly lakefront residents.
A strategy aimed at getting thousands of spectators to and from the race at Stone Lake with as little disruption as possible was outlined by Mayor Blair Milo and representatives from the LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau at City Hall.
"We've got a good plan in place to move a lot of people," Milo said.
The U.S. Formula 1 Powerboat /Formula One P.R.O.P. Tour has added LaPorte to its schedule of about eight races this year.
About 30 or more boats expected to compete will start hitting the water doing test runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 31 with more testing, time trials and practice races from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 1.
The boats travel up to 120 mph. The actual racing is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 2.
Fishermen and other boats were advised that no other watercraft will be allowed on the lake during those times.
Most of the spectators will be directed to the Stone Lake beach where they can bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on, said Jason Miller, sports development manager for the LCC&VB.
Fans will view the race along the shoreline between Greenleaf Street and Craven Drive. Miller said free parking also will be provided at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds with shuttle buses running to take spectator to and from the lake.
There also will be free parking in a smaller lot near Scharf Field off Truesdell Avenue with shuttle service.
Other events leading up to the race include a parade at 6 p.m. June 1 on Lincolnway and what's billed as a "Downtown Hoedown" complete with food, beverages and live country music until 11 p.m. at State and Monroe Street later in the day.
"This event is more than just boats on the water. This is an opportunity for the community to come out and do all kinds of things," Miller said.