Updated: September 3, 2012 1:14PM
Michigan City is hosting two big competitions over the next week that are also big draws for audiences: the Super Boat Great Lakes Grand Prix, and the Drum Corps International open class World Championships.
† This is the fourth year that some of the biggest and fastest powerboats in racing will leave their familiar race courses along the coasts of Florida and head north and inland to the shores of Indiana for the Super Boat Great Lakes Grand Prix. Big, as these boats are up to 50 feet long, and fast, as some have two 1,500 horsepower engines and can hit speeds of about 150 mph.
The races will be at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5. The boats will race on a two-turn course between Michigan City’s lighthouse pier and stop 20 further east along the lakefront, and flying past spectators along the Washington Park beach in between.
Although race day is Sunday, the event kicks off Thursday, Aug. 2, as the boats arrive throughout the day and the dry pit and race village opens in Washington Park with opportunities for the public to see the boats up close and to meet the race teams.
The race village will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, and again from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. There will also be a classic car show from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday in Washington Park.
A parade of the race boats will be on Saturday, going down Franklin Street in downtown Michigan City starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 7 p.m. at a block party on Franklin Street in the heart of downtown. There will also be music, and food will be available as part of Taste of Michigan City, which runs from noon to 11 p.m.
Admission to the race and race village are free. There is also free parking available all weekend, with free shuttle service from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from the Lighthouse Premium Place Outlets, 601 Wabash St., and the LaPorte County visitor center at Marquette Mall, 4073 S. Franklin. There will also be free shuttles from the 11th Street stop of the South Shore train.
† Drum corps take marching band half time shows to an impressive level. They have a big brass sound, tight percussion and a color guard unit with dancing, gymnastics, flying props, even costume changes, all packaged together in impressive choreographed shows.
This week, 18 corps that have traveled around the country all summer, rehearsing, performing and perfecting their shows, will bring their best to Michigan City to compete in the Drum Corps International world championships in the open class division.
The open class corps range in size from 30 to 150 members.
Monday’s preliminary competition begins at 3 p.m. All 18 corps will compete. On Tuesday, the top 12 corps will go on to compete in the finals.
The DCI open class world championships will take place at Ames Field, 2501 Franklin St. in Michigan City. To get there from Interstate 94, take exit 34B toward Michigan City. Ames Field will be on the left in about three miles.
Tickets are $15 for the Monday competition, and $15 to $25 for Tuesday’s finals. Tickets may be available at the gate. Advance tickets and additional information, including a list of the competing corps, are available online at www.dci.org.