Evansville's Thunder on the Ohio races canceled

EVANSVILLE, IN (AP) - Organizers of Evansville's annual Thunder on the Ohio festival have decided to drop its signature hydroplane boat races for the first time in more than 30 years.

Event chairman Tom Sawyer says the cost of holding the boat races has grown beyond its budget, although he's hopeful they can resume next year.

The Aug. 20-22 event will be scaled back to a festival with concerts, food booths and other entertainment on the city's riverfront.

Hydroplane races have been held each summer on the Ohio River at Evansville since 1979. Bringing back the top-level hydroplanes would involved paying a $160,000 purse and insurance costs.

Sawyer says it's been difficult telling boat owners about the decision, but that most are understanding of the situation.

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