Water Follies roaring on the river July 26-28

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerJuly 24, 2013 

Tri-Cities Water Follies and the Lamb Weston Columbia Cup is July 26-28.

TRI-CITY HERALD FILE

The annual Tri-Cities Water Follies and Lamb Weston Columbia Cup is July 26-28 along the Columbia River at Columbia Park in Kennewick.

The unlimited hydroplane time trials start at 8:15 a.m. July 26-27 with the first official heat starting at 10:20 a.m. July 28.

Viewing areas along the Kennewick and Pasco sides of the river are free July 26, but tickets are required July 27-28. To avoid additional parking fees, Ben Franklin Transit will offer rides to and from the park during the three-day event, leaving from points in Richland and Kennewick.

Hydroplane drivers will be available for autograph sessions at noon and 2:30 p.m. July 27 at the Centennial Stage behind the Lampson pit area. Hydro souvenirs will be available for sale throughout the park, with proceeds to benefit the hydro drivers fund, which aids the families of injured drivers.

A Kids Zone will be open during the boat races July 27-28 with inflatables and other fun kid activities, including two stage shows. Admission is free.

There will be a World War II V-12 piston engines exhibit in Columbia Park during the Follies, which will include a Legends of Thunder vintage hydroplane exhibition.

Multiple vintage thunderboats from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum also will hit the river for a series of exhibition heats.

The Over the River Air Show, sponsored by HAPO Community Credit Union, starts at 11:30 a.m. July 26-28. It features the Supermarine Spitfire, the iconic World War II fighter plane that made the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine famous before it powered a generation of hydroplanes.

Also performing will be the Alpha Jet, flown by the French Air Force jet team Patrouille Acrobatique de France; a Talon Eagle biplane; the Will Allen aerobatic show and two Air Force P-51 Mustangs.

Weather

Sunshine and hot temperatures are in the Tri-City forecast.

The high Friday should be about 99 with the weather cooling slightly to the mid to low 90s Saturday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Tickets

Admission to the park is free July 26.

Ticket prices for a weekend pass cost $25 for adults and $10 for kids ages 6 to 12. Daily passes cost $15 for adults, $5 for kids July 27 and $25 for adults and $5 for kids July 28.

Three-day pit passes, which include admission to the park, cost $45. A daily pit pass costs $10.

Tickets are available at Tri-City Albertsons stores or the Water Follies office at 621 N. Gum St., Suite A, in Kennewick. A full schedule of events can be viewed at www.waterfollies.com.

Parking

Columbia Park

-- Friday – Park opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 10:00 p.m. Parking $5.

-- Saturday – Park opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 10:00 p.m. Parking is $5.

-- Sunday – Park opens at 7:00 a.m. Final race is approximately 4:30 p.m. Parking $10.

No In/Out privileges. You will be charged for parking each time you re-enter the Park parking area.

The Highway 240 Entrance is the primary entrance to Columbia Park Main.

Hartford and Fruitland Street Entrances are available for staff, vendors and Boat Teams ONLY.

At 10:00 p.m., all entrances are secured. No vehicles are allowed in to the park. Exit only.

Pasco Parking

Limited Pasco general admission parking is available. Look for official Water Follies parking signs off of Sylvester Street in Pasco. You will be charged for parking each time you re-enter the Franklin County parking area.

-- Friday Free Parking

-- Saturday $5 per car.

-- Sunday $10 per car.

All other parking offered in Pasco is on private property. This parking is not affiliated with the Tri-City Water Follies and parking rates for these areas are at the discretion of the property owner.

Bus schedules

Ben Franklin Transit buses will run to and from the Lamb Weston Columbia Cup boat races July 27-28, leaving from transit centers in Kennewick and Richland.

Buses will run hourly between 9 a.m. and noon each day from the Knight Street Transit Center in Richland and the Huntington Transit Center in Kennewick.

Another bus will shuttle passengers out of the park and back to the transit stations starting at 1 p.m. and continuing until 3 p.m. Buses also will be available 15 minutes after the final event each day to return race fans to the transit stations.

Dial-A-Ride will also be available July 26-28, but reservations are required by calling 735-0160.

Ben Franklin Transit fares cost $1.50 for ages 6 and older. Kids 5 and younger are free but must be accompanied by an adult.

The family rate is $4 for up to five people. Seniors and those who are disabled with a Ben Franklin Transit identification card pay 75 cents. Freedom passes also are accepted.

Dial-A-Ride fares cost $1.50.

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