North Tonawanda Mayor Robert G. Ortt announced during a press conference today that the "Thunder on the Niagara" boat racing event at Gratwick Riverside Park will be "bigger and better" than the past seven years. The Niagara Frontier Boat Racing Association will partner with the American Power Boat Racing Association, and the American Canadian Hydroplane Association. All together, these organizations will have more than 80 racing boat teams participate on Saturday, Aug. 17, and Sunday, Aug. 18.
The hydroplanes are automotive high-performance boats that fly and thunder over the water at speeds up to 180 mph. "Thunder on the Niagara," is considered "the fastest show on water," and will take place at what is regarded as one of the most beautiful venues along the Niagara River.
Representatives from the Niagara Frontier Boat Racing Association and several other high-level North Tonawanda officials joined Ortt in announcing this family-fun event - the largest free motor sport event in the area.
"Waterfront development is all about bringing people to your waterfront and making it accessible. Since 2006, this event has been drawing thousands of people to Gratwick Riverside Park and this beautiful vista of the Niagara River," Ortt said. "This year, we expect it to be bigger and better than ever. It's an event that the whole family can enjoy, and we are proud that 'Thunder on the Niagara' calls North Tonawanda home."
NFBRA is asking for a donation of $5 for the on-site parking at Gratwick Riverside Park to help alleviate costs. A portion of the proceeds of the parking will be shared with Twin City Community Outreach, a not-for-profit organization from the City of North Tonawanda. All attendees are asked to use the Ward Road entrance of the park off River Road.
There will be food vendors and crafters on site during the two-day event. The park will be open at 8 a.m. and the first race each day will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. Additional information can be found online atwww.thunderonniagara.com.
The NFBRA is a nonprofit organization with a hard-working team of individuals dedicated to making this event possible.