GULFPORT, Fla. — The waters of Boca Ciega Bay have been transformed into a raceway for the "Grand Prix of Gulfport."
- Grand Prix of Gulfport this weekend
- Boats racing over 100 mph
- More: Parking, ticket info & event schedule
This weekend's event is expected to draw big crowds and a big paycheck for area businesses.
Events will be going from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.
This is the third year for the Gulfport Grand Prix, which also offers three classes of boat racing—the fastest of them is the Formula One boat.
Some boats will reach up to 135 miles per hour as they race down the mile and a quarter long racetrack along Shore Boulevard South.
"The boat will run zero to 100 miles per hour in 6 seconds. By the time we get to the first turn we are already running 120 miles an hour,” organizer Bill Joule said.
Aside from racing, fans can shop, enjoy food and drinks, and get a look at the pit areas of the boats.
The event organizer expect crowds of 25,000 to 28,000 with an estimated economic impact in the millions.
For those going to the event today, the entrance is at Beach Boulevard South, where the parking shuttle drop off area is for the free public parking around the city this weekend.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Michael J. Yakes Foundation, a nonprofit that helps underprivileged children and seniors.