Guntersville’s 2020 Hydrofest is canceled

Northeast Alabama

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – The 2020 Guntersville Lake Hydrofest is canceled.

The Marshall County CVB Board of Directors decided to cancel this summer’s Guntersville Lake HydroFest and set a June 26-27, 2021 date for the exciting racing weekend next year.

“Due to the impact of COVID-19 on our nation, we have made the tough decision to cancel the 2020 Guntersville Lake HydroFest. We will miss hosting this exciting weekend of racing on the lake, but we are already looking forward to next summer. We hope you will mark your calendars for June 26-27, 2021 and join us for the race for the Southern Cup.”

Katy Norton, Marshall County CVB President

The 2019 HydroFest had more than 20,000 spectators with an economic impact of over $2.2 million for Marshall County.

“We are experiencing difficult times. Many of the businesses who faithfully support HydroFest through sponsorships, are going to need to focus on reopening and rebuilding. We do not want to place an additional strain on our community. We also recognize that this event brings visitors and dollars to our county, and that is the reason we went ahead and set a date for 2021. We want our community, our fans and our volunteers to know that we are looking to the next year and the next race.”

Katy Norton, Marshall County CVB President

H1 Unlimited and Powerboat Nationals, the two racing organizations, have supported the decision to cancel the 2020 event and move forward with 2021.

For those who already bought tickets and tent spaces, refunds will begin immediately.

Norton also confirmed most sponsors who have committed to 2020’s event are remaining with the organization for 2021.

“We’ve done really well (at Hydrofest),” said Papa Dubi’s Cajun Kitchen owner Will Younghouse. The past two years we set a booth up there. When the weather’s good, there’s a lot of money to make.”

The event provides exposure to Younghouse’s restaurant.

“Hydrofest has been great just for the exposure. We’ve got so many people that became regular customers just based off that,” explained Younghouse.

Local business owners said the cancellation of this year’s event will be a big hit.

“The hotels, restaurants, gas stations. Everybody in the county. This is the first biggest cancellation in our county,” said Younghouse.

“The impact will be felt all across the Guntersville area and all of Marshall County,” said Kudzu Cove Cabins owner Frank Harbin.

Harbin said event cancellations due to COVID-19 concerns has already left him feeling the impact.

“Normally, this time of year, we’re completely booked up for all of our cabins. This is the best time of year for us with all the fishermen that come in,” explained Harbin.

Harbin told WHNT News 19 that they also refunded the money of those planning to visit for the Big Bass Splash and a kayak bass fishing tournament over the last few weekends.

Younghouse said he is losing catering gigs left and right because there can be no large events like weddings or fishing tournaments during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Any questions? Contact the CVB at (256) 582-7015 or visit the Hydrofest website

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