Boat races in Sarasota to draw big crowds and tourist dollars

Races go all day on Saturday and Sunday
Posted at 11:23 AM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 18:03:43-04

Sarasota’s Powerboat Grand Prix festival is almost over, but the best is yet to come.

Over a hundred power boat races take place this Saturday and Sunday in an event that draws a large crowd of fans every year.

The event organizers say last year’s race activities had an economic impact of about $32 million, with most of that money going to local business owners.

The races start at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and go all day. VIP tickets start at $100 but organizers say there is free viewing from Lido Beach, and they will even be streaming the races on their website for free as well.

On Friday, before the races, is a kind of pre-race block party celebration called Boats on Main, where some of the boats will be showcased out of the water.

The event is organized by the non-profit charity Suncoast Charities for Children, a 501c3 which provides annual grants to the Suncoast Foundation.