North Tonawanda Mayor Robert G. Ortt announced during a press conference Friday the 2014 "Thunder on the Niagara" boat racing event will be "bigger and better" than the past eight years. The event, considered "the fastest show on water," will take place Saturday, Aug. 16, and Sunday, Aug. 17, along the Niagara River at Gratwick Riverside Park.
The Niagara Frontier Boat Racing Association will partner with the American Power Boat Racing Association and the American Canadian Hydroplane Association to bring more than 100 racing boat teams to the event. The hydroplanes are automotive high-performance boats that fly and thunder over the water at speeds up to 180 mph.
Representatives from the Niagara Frontier Boat Racing Association and several other high-level North Tonawanda officials joined Ortt in announcing this family event, which is largest free motorsport event in the area.
"Waterfront development is all about bringing people to your waterfront and making it accessible," Ortt said. "Since 2006, this event has been drawing thousands of people to Gratwick Riverside Park and this beautiful vista of the Niagara River. 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."
The NFBRA announced there would be additional food vendors and crafters on site during the two-day event. The park will open at 8 a.m., and the first race each day will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m.
Attendees are asked to enter the park using the Ward Road entrance. Additional information can be found on the event website, www.thunderonniagara.com.