ALTON, Ill. – Cars are revving their engines during the day and rocking along the river at night this weekend in Alton, Ill.

Formula 1 Powerboat Midwest Championship racing has returned.

“It’s exciting, we’re expecting thousands of people to visit the Alton riverfront. It’s been a partnership with the City of Alton (and) Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau to bring F1 powerboat racing back,” Cory Jobe from Great Rivera and Routes said.

It has been over 30 years since F1 was on the riverfront. Boats that look similar to a space shuttle and are fast like rockets reach speeds of 120 mph.


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While the event is free, there are paid, upgraded areas with special seating.

“You got the fast current and then you get a little groundwell from it also, and then there’s always some debris here and there,” Tim Seebold, managing partner, said. “It’s quite a challenge for the racers but it’s good because it kind of shuffles the deck.”

Attendees should be mindful to remember their sunscreen and stay hydrated.

“For the first time in 40 years, the Mississippi River Fest…is reborn Saturday night,” Jobe said. “Tickets are still available. We’ve got headliners (like) Grammy award-winning artist Larkin Poe, Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, the 90s band Fastball, and s St. Louis band called Field.”

For those craving live music or F1 racing, Alton is the place to be.