RIVER ROARS WITH SPEED

The spray of hydroplane rooster tails will mark the trail of the 7,000 pound wingspan of the fastest motors in the water July 26-28 at Columbia Park.

TRI-CITIES — It’s Water Follies weekend on the Columbia River and hydroplanes will be warming up the water for three days beginning Friday night, July 26 on the 2.5-mile Columbia River Course.

As early as 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning, the water planes will be testing motors before the vintage heats begins at 9:10 a.m. While the hydroplanes reset for the afternoon heats, the annual Water Follies Airshow will shift speed enthusiasts’ eyes skyward for its 11:30 p.m. show.

Much of the high-octane action can be seen from Columbia River Park in Kennewick, during Saturday and Sunday’s twin race heats and Columbia Cup finals.

Tickets are available online, but while traveling in the Tri-Cities to watch the roaring hydroplanes, be careful of land speed, warns the Washington State Patrol. Troopers have issued a special Water Follies Emphasis Patrol with officers from throughout the area working the weekend to reduce collisions.

The WSP will utilize aircraft, motorcycles, and unmarked patrol cars to conduct emphasis patrols on Interstate-82, State Route-240, and State Route-395.

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