Fast boats, even faster airplanes and plenty of fun in the sun for the whole family are part of the annual Tri-Cities Water Follies and Lamb Weston Columbia Cup event July 26-28 along the Columbia River.
The unlimited hydroplane time trials start at 8:15 a.m. July 26-27 with the big race starting at noon July 28.
Viewing areas along the Kennewick and Pasco sides of the river are free on 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 each city.
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.
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Hydro souvenirs will be available for sale throughout the park. Proceeds will benefit the hydro drivers fund that aids the families of injured drivers.
A Kids Zone will be open during the boat races on July 27-28 with inflatables and other fun kid activities, including two stage shows. Admission is free.
There also will be a World War II V-12 piston engines exhibit in Columbia Park during the follies, which also will include a Legends of Thunder vintage hydroplane exhibition.
Multiple vintage thunderboats from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum also will perform in a series of exhibition heats, which will evoke memories of the original Atomic Cup races, a follies spokesperson said.
The Over the River Air Show, sponsored by Hapo Community Credit Union, will feature 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.
The air show performances will take place throughout the day July 27-28 between time trials and race heats.
Ticket prices for a weekend pass cost $25 for adults and $10 for ages 6 to 12. Daily passes cost $15 for adults and $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. Admission to the park is free July 26.
Tickets are available at Tri-City Albertsons stores or the Water Follies office at 621 N. Gum St., Suite A, Kennewick.
A full schedule of events can be viewed at www.waterfollies.com. A bus schedule will be included in the July 26 Atomictown.
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal