BURLEY — At least 40 race boats in seven scheduled classes will hit the Snake River in Burley this weekend to battle for top spots in the 43rd Idaho Regatta.
“It’s hard to get an exact count because we had some boats show up overnight,” Regatta Chairman Louis Schindler said on Friday. “One extra class may be added.”
The boat parade was held on Friday along with a Show & Shine and Fish Fry on the Rupert Square on Thursday. Friday events include pre-registration, test and tune and a grudge match.
Saturday and Sunday events start at 9:50 a.m. with the National Anthem, qualifying heats, heat races, Flatbottom Grand Prix Shootout and heat finals. An awards ceremony will be held on Sunday after racing concludes.
A day pass is $20, weekend pass $40 with active duty military, veterans and senior citizens receiving a discount, cost $10. Identification is required.
Melissa Barry, executive director with Southern Idaho Tourism, said an economic impact from the event is felt throughout Mini-Cassia, although her office doesn’t track specific numbers.
“It brings in revenue to the hotels, which are usually booked and an impact is felt through retailers and gas stations,” Barry said. “It’s a wide-spread impact and those outside dollars are really great to have in Burley and Rupert.”
The average spending for a group of four people in the community is $231 per night, she said.
Schindler, who used to race for the Moyle family, said the Burley event is a favorite among racers.
“The water is a little high today,” Schindler said. “But it’s expected to go down on Saturday and Sunday.”
Last year the races cancelled due to high water and it was “devastating for the community and the racers,” he said.
“It is the best course to race on. It has the most room and the largest spectator area where everyone can have a view on the front straight-a-way,” Schindler said. “The weather is usually nice and there are really friendly people here. It’s a good community.”