Official says HydroFest will not happen this year after $70k deficit in ’18

Official says HydroFest will not happen this year after $70k deficit in ‘18
Updated: May. 23, 2019 at 10:42 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A Facebook post from Evansville HydroFest says hydroplane racing will not be happening this year.

According to the post on Facebook, the decision was made Wednesday by the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors. Joe Taylor, the Executive Director for ECVB said, “We were working very hard at securing funding and sponsorships, but it was not coming in at the level we thought that it needed to, to cover the cost of the event.”

The post states the board decided to not continue with hydroplane racing at Evansville HydroFest.

“The Board of Directors of the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau voted yesterday [Wednesday] afternoon to NOT continue with Hydroplane Racing at Evansville HydroFest,” the Facebook states.

This event was scheduled to take place from August 16-18 down on the Evansville riverfront.

Two months ago in March, it was announced Evansville HydroFest would be returning and even added events. The additional events included: vintage motorcycle display, car show, and a barbecue festival.

[HydrFest to return this year with some big changes]

Joe Taylor, Executive Director for the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), says an event will be taking place during that August weekend, but it will not be named HydroFest.

A statement from CVB says the barbecue festival and concert parts of the event that have already been planned will take place in a “yet-to-be-named event in downtown Evansville.”

“A contract with the hydroplane racing organization of choice has not yet been finalized and it is unlikely that sufficient sponsorship can be raised to cover the costs of the event, thus risking a deficit for a second year in a row,” Taylor said in a statement released to 14 News.

We are told the deficit from last year’s event was $70,000.

The statement goes onto say the planned event can take advantage of the crowds that will already be downtown that weekend for the Toby Keith concert.

HydroFest officials say the loss doesn’t just affect them.. it affects so many other people.

Randy Lientz is the HydroFest race director. He said, “We were expecting right at about 60 teams this year. Approximately half of them from Canada, approximately half of them from the United States and we have three teams from New Zealand.”

Even though plans for HydrFest have been put on pause for this year, the hope is that it could happen in the future.

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