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Boat races canceled in Dunkirk

OBSERVER file photo High-speed boat races brought crowds to the City Pier in 2018 and 2019.

The Great Lakes Offshore Grand Prix has again been canceled in the city of Dunkirk due to COVID-19.

At this week’s Common Council meeting, Mayor Wilfred Rosas made a brief announcement in regard to the races. “It’s a big event and it requires a lot more planning than three or four months,” he said. “We don’t know how open New York state is going to be to allowing thousands of people to gather together and therefore they had to cancel because they have contracts that they’re going to have to have signed and they can’t wait until the last minute to do so.”

According to Rosas, the producers are canceling it because they don’t know if they’re going to be able to have it in New York state. “Right now things are starting to open up, but they don’t know for sure when it’s going to open up enough, so it’ll be canceled for this year, but we’re hoping to bring it back next year,” Rosas said.

The city still has another year with this group as well as funding in the amount of $112,500 from the state that they’re hoping to push back another year. “There’s just too many unknowns on whether or not they can have it and they have to solidify contracts with different entities,” Rosas said.

The boat races which premiered in the city in 2018 and drew large crowds for the city over two years while also receiving some criticism from those locally. Both events were televised nationally.

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