4th annual Bradenton River Regatta going on today

By Angie Angers, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, February 03, 2018, 10:34 AM EST

The 4th annual Bradenton River Regatta is taking place today. Thousands of people are expected to turn out along the Manatee River. 

  • 4th annual Bradenton River Regatta going on today
  • Event lasts all day until 6:45 p.m., ending with fireworks
  • Admission is free for all

There will be speedboat shows, music, entertainment, food and vendors all day long -- and the best part, admission is free. 

Organizers say the best spots to watch the shows are on the Riverwalk and up on the Green bridge, but they won't last long. 

The event is only in its 4th year and it's already the largest spectator event in Manatee County. 

Some call Formula 2 Boat Racing is basically the Nascar of the water. The powerful boats can go up to 125 miles per hour. 

This is the first event of the racer's season, but they say it's the biggest. 

"It's an adrenaline rush. All the boats start at once....leman's start...we turn the key, and when the keys hit, it's on! You forget all about your inhibitions when you hit that key," said racer Tom Ludwig. 

A carnival over the Green Bridge with a 90-foot ferris wheel will help kick off the festivities. 

The Regatta runs through 6:45 p.m. and will end with a fireworks show.