Marine News from the Great Lakes

2016 Great Lakes Grand Prix

Published: Friday, July 29, 2016

Visit Michigan City LaPorte is happy to announce the return of the “Great Lakes Grand Prix”. 2016 will be year eight for what has turned into the “signature” event for Michigan City and all of LaPorte County. “Last year’s race injected over nine million dollars into the local economy and we expect to equal that, or more, for 2016,” according to Jack Arnett, Executive Director of the LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau who hosts the race. “All the local hotels are already full and we expect an ‘overflow’ crowd during the four days,” stated Arnett.

VIP events leading up to the Great Lakes Grand Prix have been scheduled. Don’t miss out on all of the fun and excitement. Grand Prix week is August 4th through August 7th. There will be a ribbon cutting and VIP event showcasing race boats on Thursday evening at Matey’s Restaurant, located at 110 Franklin Street, Michigan City. The ribbon cutting is at 5:30pm followed by the party from 6pm until 8pm. A VIP event with race boats and teams will also be held on Friday evening at Mug Shots Lounge (City Lanes), 1901 S Woodland Ave, Michigan City from 6pm to 8 pm. You must have VIP credentials to attend these events, however both restaurants will be open to the public that evening with great food, drink and entertainment. The catered VIP brunch on the Washington Park boardwalk on race day and the racer’s trophy event at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa on Sunday evening are a must. Come to our office to purchase your VIP credentials.

And that’s not all, many of the events and entrance to the race are free! Free admission to the Great Lakes Grand Prix sites are as follows: Friday and Saturday evening, enjoy live entertainment on the Boardwalk in Washington Park from 8pm until 11pm. Food and beer garden will be available for sale on Friday starting at 11 am and on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 am. The “Taste of Michigan City” is scheduled to begin on Friday, August 5th from 5pm-11pm and on Saturday from 11am-10pm. The “Taste” will be held on Franklin Street between 7th Street and 4th Street, with a free shuttle loop running from Washington Park & Taste of Michigan City at 4th & Franklin Street. A continuous free shuttle service will run from Washington Park and Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa both Saturday and Sunday. Due to expectations of large crowds, we are urging everyone to take advantage of the free parking and free shuttle.

On Saturday, from 10am-4pm, there will be a vintage car show in Washington Park presented by Four A’s Car Club. On Saturday evening at 6:30pm, the Boat Parade & Block Party will begin in downtown Michigan City. The boat parade will travel north on Franklin Street from 10th Street to 4th Street. Here you can meet the race teams and get a close-up look at the boats. There will be no entrance fee to the event and the party will include a “Taste of Michigan City” featuring local restaurants, sponsored by the Michigan City Mainstreet Association.

On Sunday, there will be a charity silent auction on the east end of the boardwalk next to the VIP tent from 10am until 10 minutes after the last race. All proceeds from this auction will be split between the LaPorte County Growing up Green Program and the Michigan City High School Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. After spending time at the event’s first three days getting to know the racers and their boats, spend Sunday rooting for the team you’ve adopted as your favorite. Racing begins at 11am Sunday, with two races. For more information go to or call the Visitors Center at 219-872-5055.

tags: Boat Show, Racing

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