Riverfront Roar racing into Marietta this weekend | News, Sports, Jobs – Parkersburg News

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Jul 4, 2023
Boats race along the Ohio River during the 2022 Marietta Riverfront Roar. (File Photo)
MARIETTA — The competitors at this weekend’s Marietta Riverfront Roar won’t just be racing against each other on the Ohio River in high-speed powerboats.
Many will also be out and about in downtown Marietta, enjoying the sights and sounds of the annual event, said Rick Smith, Riverfront Roar chairman.
“They can walk everywhere,” he said. “They come to the concerts. … They make a weekend out of it. They shop downtown.”
Smith believes that interaction with the community and spectators is one reason Marietta has been voted the best race site on the American Powerboat Nationals circuit circuit multiple times over the last 21 years.
The latest installment kicks off Friday night, during Marietta Main Street’s monthly First Friday event. Vendors for the Art Walk will be joined along Front Street by some of the early arriving powerboats. The beer garden at Greene and Front streets opens at 5 p.m., along with the Roar’s street vendors. Music starts at 6 p.m. at the beer garden and goes until midnight.
Boats race along the Ohio River during the 2022 Marietta Riverfront Roar. (File Photo)
The racing revs up around 1 p.m. Saturday, with warmups expected to begin around 11 a.m. After about four hours of racing, more music is planned for 6 p.m. to midnight, with a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.
Races resume at noon Sunday but will be preceded by a car show at 9 a.m. at the Armory on Front Street. Warmups for the races follow at 10 a.m., and the beer garden opens at 11 a.m.
Smith said he appreciates the sponsors of the event and the volunteers who help to put it on, though he would welcome more of both.
“It’s unbelievable what we can do here with seven people” on the board, he said.
“This isn’t something we do to make money,” Smith said. “We do it for economic impact.”
More information is available online at https://www.mariettariverfrontroar.net or on the event’s Facebook page.
The schedule of events is:
FRIDAY
* 5 p.m. – Beer garden and street vendors open. First Friday with Marietta Main Street and downtown businesses, with Art Walk vendors on Front Street. Some boats that arrive early will also be parked on Front Street.
* 6 p.m. – Music starts at the beer garden, in the parking lot on the corner of Greene and Front streets.
* Midnight – Music ends
SATURDAY
* 11 a.m. – Boat racing warmups, street vendors open (estimated)
* Noon – Beer garden opens
* 1 p.m. – Racing begins (estimated)
* 5 p.m. – Racing ends (estimated)
* 6 p.m. – Music starts
* 9:30 p.m. – Fireworks
* Midnight – Music ends
SUNDAY
* 9 a.m. – Car show begins (Armory on Front Street). Participants can register the day of, starting around 8, with a nominal entry fee.
* 10 a.m. – Racing warmups (estimated)
* 11 a.m. – Beer garden opens
* Noon – Racing begins
* 4 p.m. – Racing ends, trophy ceremony (estimated)
Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.
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