Family fun packed weekend for Showdown on the Sabine
Bring the sunscreen and get ready for a fun action-packed weekend at the City of Orange boat ramp for the fifth annual Showdown on the Sabine.
This year the new added features are sure to please the crowd such as the live music and helicopter rides. There is free admission and free parking.
However, one thing remains the same is the excitement of the more than 50 tunnel boats racing on the Sabine River. The fun begins on August 21 and last until the 23. The action packed weekend starts with the Formula Light at 3 p.m. Friday and continues through 5:30 p.m. with the J-Hydro.
Testing continues at 9 a.m. Saturday and qualifying begins at 1 p.m. Sunday fun begins at 9 a.m. as the event wraps up with the championship for each division stating at 3:15 p.m.
This year there are four classes of boats. They include the Formula Light, Formula 1, Tri-Hull and the J-Hydro.
Along with the stars of the show, there are activities for everyone in the family to enjoy. For the children there will be a bounce house, pony rides, petting zoo and a carnival. In addition there will be a water slide. Darlene Zavada, director of the Orange CVB, suggest people enjoying the water slide may want to bring a towel and a change of clothes.
Anyone who is hungry can certainly find a multitude of things to eat. According to Zavada, there will be vendors with everything from boudain, pizza, smoked turkey legs, funnel cakes, popcorn, to yummy treats on a stick.
People are encouraged to bring a chair to sit back and enjoy the races, but coolers, pets or bicycles are not allowed. Canopies are allowed, but must be set up on top of the levee so they will not block the view of others.
The excitement never ends with a closer look at the boats and the chance to talk to the drivers which can be done with the purchase of a $5 pit pass.
For a slower pace, event go-ers can take the time to walk through the area with a display of cars, trucks, customized golf carts and ATVs. In addition, there will be craft booths.
The tunnel boats compete on an oval track marked with buoys. The 1,100 boats with the 300 horsepower engines are said to be fast and loud, but a thrill for all to enjoy as they can travel up to 120 miles per hour.
This year an added attraction is the J-Hydro class for children ages 9 through 15 years old. According to Zavada, the kids sit on their knees in the boat since their boats do not have seats.
While all of this is going on, a new attraction will be at the stage with live music. Scheduled to perform include musical artists such as French Bred, Timmy Dugas and Zydecane with the headlining act at 6 p.m. of Jo-El Sonnier.
“Come on out and join the fun,” Zavada said.