Guntersville Lake HydroFest kicks off on Saturday

Thousands of people are coming to Guntersville for the annual HydroFest.

Posted: Jun 25, 2021 4:40 PM
Updated: Jun 25, 2021 7:29 PM

Thousands of people are visiting North Alabama for the annual Guntersville Lake HydroFest. 

On Friday, vendors spent the day setting up for all the HydroFest has in store for the weekend. The boat racing event was canceled last year because of the pandemic. So, people told WAAY 31 they're anticipating the HydroFest to be even bigger and better this year. 

“I think we’ll see the crowds here again like they were from the beginning when they started the Unlimited’s back up in 2018," said Bobby Hawkins. "I think we’ll see bigger crowds than we’ve had traditionally."

Hawkins makes his way up from Birmingham every year for the Guntersville Lake HydroFest.

“I’ve always come here to the races ever since they’ve had them since I was a small child. It’s always been kind of a tradition for me and my family and I’ve carried it on with my son now," he said.

It's only about an hour drive for Hawkins and his son, but that's not the case for some.

We saw license plates from California, Washington, and South Carolina. The HydroFest is bringing people into Guntersville from all over the country. 

With more visitors, that means more customers for local businesses. 

“We know that the hotels are full so we’re expecting that crowd, today being Friday, to start flowing in," said Lucie Keck. "We’re expecting to be busy because everybody’s going to need a place to eat dinner.”

Keck and her husband opened the Boat House Bar and Grill only 9 months ago. She anticipates seeing about 75% more customers each day this weekend. 

“It kind of is the kick-off of summer for us, even though I think for some places it was maybe Memorial Day," she said. "For us, it brings a lot of people in that are forced to look for places to eat, so it’ll put us more on the map, and hopefully, it’ll be more of the locals coming in.”

Tickets are still available for this weekend-long event. The gates open on Saturday and Sunday at 9 o'clock. 

You can get tickets by clicking here.

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