Every year the Tri-Cities Water Follies Association tries to bring something new to the annual hydroplane boat races.
This year, boat race fans will get the usual fare of an exciting air show and thundering hydroplane exhibitions.
What's new is a Water Follies Nightlife Party happening July 29 starting at 8 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel next to Columbia Center mall in Kennewick.
That event, which is for the 21 and older crowd, features two dance floors and three DJs providing an eclectic mix of music. There also will be cash prizes given out during the evening. Admission is $20 at the door.
The Clover Island Hotel in Kennewick will also have a boat race kickoff party featuring the music of Colorblind. It starts at 7 p.m. Cover is $5.
But before all that happens, it will be the Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen pageant that kicks off Follies week July 22, followed by the Miss Tri-Cities Scholarship pageant on July 23.
Both events start at 7 p.m. in the Art Fuller Auditorium at Kennewick High School. Admission is $20.
Then on July 25, the annual talent show takes place starting at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Kamiakin High School, 600 N. Arthur St., Kennewick.
Emcee for the show will be Julie Stevens, a former TV news anchor at KVEW in the Tri-Cities. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door
There will be singers, guitar and piano instrumentalists, baton twirlers, cheer/tumbling exhibitions and an 11-year-old break/robotic dancer competing in various age divisions for the title of best of show.
"Each division has its own winner and there will be one best of show winner, which receives an automatic performance spot at the New Year's Eve First Night lineup," said Parker Hodge, an organizer for the talent show.
The talent show is cosponsored by the Kamiakin Dance Team and First Night Tri-Cities organization.
Other new offerings at this year's Water Follies event include: Helicopter rides by Inland Helicopter for $50; Red Dot Paintball laser tag course set up next to the beer gardens. Cost for all-day access to the course is $10.
Windermere Group is offering a Kid's Zone play area, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 30 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 31. The play area will have games as well as face painting, arts and crafts, Big Top the Clown and other fun kids stuff.
Viewing for the boat races will be on both sides of the river. The pit area is at east end of Columbia Park near the blue bridge. Tours of the pits will be available July 29-31 for an additional fee besides admission to the park.
For a complete list of Water Follies events, go to www.waterfollies.com.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org