GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- The Guntersville Lake Hydrofest Test Event will hit the water in Marshall County this Saturday, June 17th. The actual races will be next year, and this Saturday's free event will be a look at what Guntersville Lake Hydrofest will be like.
The test event will run throughout the day rain or shine from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM in Guntersville. "We are also welcoming the Gale V, which is the replica of the vintage boat that raced in the 1950s," said Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau president Katy Norton.
At a media conference Monday, Norton laid out what visitors need to know and what residents can expect. "It will be a two-mile oval course that will be laid out in the Spring Creek area. The Stockton Causeway to Highway 227 will be closed by Alabama Marine Police starting at 8:00 AM Saturday morning. It will reopen at 5:00 PM," Norton said, "There will be boat viewing access. It will be managed by Marine Police. If you come under the 227 causeway there's a designated area there, if you just want to sit and watch from your boat, they'll kind of park and place you in that area."
The best place to watch on land is the Guntersville Levee. You can only get there during the free event by Railroad Avenue behind Fire Station #1. Crews are laying a water line there, so organizers ask that you be considerate of the residents and open businesses when parking.
You can't have tents, beach umbrellas, or alcohol on the levee. Swimming is prohibited during the test session.
"We expect that we will have good crowds throughout the day to just watch," said Norton.
There will be some changes visitors and residents need to know about the weekend. Some areas could be congested, but Guntersville Police Chief Jim Peterson says he expects traffic to flow smoothly.
"The only noticeable thing to a motorist would be the Paul Stockton Causeway, the shoulders, or the break-down lanes, will not be available to pull over unless you have an emergency," Peterson said.
Private residents or people who keep boats in the marina will be escorted by officials when they leave or return.
Saturday's event is a glimpse of what's to come next year. Guntersville Lake Hydrofest is set for June 22- 24, 2018.
"We'll step back after this weekend and see exactly what we need to do to be prepared for the Hydrofest next summer," Peterson said.
There's a free concert in Guntersville's downtown following the test event. There will be three live performances with Riley Green as a headliner. The concert will be in Errol Allen Park on Gunter Avenue. The Arts and Entertainment District will be in effect during the concert.