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49th Columbia Cup and Tri-City Water Follies kicks off today

The 49th Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities kicks off today, July 25, 2014. The Tri-City Water Follies hosts a fun filled weekend of events for young and old surrounding the hydroplane races. Friday through Sunday, several heats of hydro racing will take place with periodic air shows in between laps.

Modern day hydroplanes are faster than ever traveling up to 200 mph on the straightaways which is equivalent to traveling the length of a football field in just one second! It's no wonder that each year, this event draws spectators from near and far to cheer on their favorite boats.

The festivities kicked off this morning at 8 am and will continue until Sunday, July 27th with the closing ceremonies at 5:30 pm. Today's events included the "fast laps" in which teams raced to score points based on speeds posted during this trial. These points will ultimately play a part in determining the starting position in the final heats.

Saturday, the day is filled with another set of heats of racing with air shows from USAF Heritage Flights, Misty Blues, T-33 Ace Maker, Alpha Jet and more. Check out the line-up on the air show information page.

Sunday will bring another set of hydroplane racing heats followed by the finals. Again, the skies will rumble with more airshows as well.

Be sure you don't miss the other fun activities this year during the Columbia Cup. Check out the vintage hydros throughout the weekend performing exhibition laps showcasing some of the best of the collection from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum. Catch the radio controlled hydro competition with 1/8 scale replicas racing for the number one slot or bring the kids to the Kid's Zone for some inflatable bounce house fun. Grab autographs from all your favorites during scheduled signing sessions, play a round of laser tag, or even take a helicopter ride for a different viewing angle. There is something for everyone all weekend long!

Tickets are still available, please see the official schedule of events for race times.

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