The weather is heating up and that means high speed boat racing action is returning to Orange as the “Shootout on the Sabine” takes place Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, on Sabine River at the City of Orange Boat Ramp. The event is free and open to the public. A free concert featuring music by Kree Harrison will take place at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 21, at the Orange Riverfront Pavilion. Photo by Tommy Mann Jr.

By Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record

Two great days of exciting boat racing action and one fun night of live music are on tap this weekend.

The Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau presents the third annual “Shootout on the Sabine” this weekend. The activities will be held from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, on the Sabine River at the City of Orange Boat Ramp, which is located just off Simmons Drive near downtown Orange. The boat races and parking are free and open to the public. Coolers and pets are not allowed.

The Deep South Racing Assocation annual event features amazing boats traveling at high speeds on a straight course as the drivers seek to have the best time and advance to the championship round. The two fine tuned machines travel side-by-side on a straight course, many times exceeding speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.

As many as 60 racing boats will be taking part in the two-day event with drivers from Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi being represented.

This event, like the other events presented by the Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau, is being done to promote the City of Orange and to encourage people to visit the city and its businesses and attractions.

“Generating tourism and bringing people into Orange is the purpose behind the ‘Shootout on the Sabine’ boat races,” said Brandy Judice, Coordinator of the Orange CVB. “It’s a very family-friendly event and a lot of fun for everyone.”

Along with the racing action, which begins at 11 a.m. each day, there will be a variety of food vendors offering tasty items such as barbecue, hamburgers, cheese sticks, links, gumbo, pistolettes and a whole lot more, including ice cream and other dessert treats.

Judice said the children’s activities will include the usual fun things such as the bounce house and rock climbing, but a couple of new additions  are being introduced as well.

“One new thing we are doing this year will be remote control boats,” Judice added. “We will have a large water-tank and six remote controlled boats for the children to play with. It ties in nicely with the boat races, and we know it is something the kids will enjoy.”

Kingdom Zoo, featuring founder Chester Moore Jr., will be on site one-day only, from 10 a.m. – noon, Saturday, May 21, to allow children an up-close look at a variety of animals and the opportunity to learn a little about each of these animals.

Live entertainment will be included in this year’s racing event as Kree Harrison will perform at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 21, at the Orange Riverfront Pavilion, which is located near the corner of Fifth Street and West Division in downtown Orange. Admission is free for the concert, which is sponsored by Cecil Atkission Motors, and guests are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs for seating. Coolers and pets are not allowed.

Harrison, a 26-year-old native of Southeast Texas, amazed the world with her voice and finished as the runner-up on season 12 of “American Idol” in 2013. Now, she is ready to take her place at the top of the country music mountain as she has released her much anticipated single and video, “This Old Thing,” earlier this month.

The song is also the title track from her forthcoming album, which was recorded at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, N.C., and will be released through Plaid Flag Music, an independent record label in Nashville.

Harrison released her debut single, “All Cried Out,” in May 2013. The song peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart shortly thereafter.

Visit the Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau website at www.orangetexas.org for more information on the races and concert.