Eleventh Annual Great Lakes Grand Prix Powerboat Competition Races Into Michigan City

Eleventh Annual Great Lakes Grand Prix Powerboat Competition Races Into Michigan City
By: Dan Petreikis Last Updated: August 4, 2019

Bigger, better, faster. That could very easily be the motto for this year’s Great Lakes Grand Prix, which is currently enjoying their biggest year ever. This year sees 70 power boat teams from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Abu Dhabi and more, roaring along the south shore of Lake Michigan.

Among the many corporate sponsors who make this event possible are NIPSCO, Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City, Patrick’s Grill, Blue Chip Hotel Casino Spa, South Shore Line, Sunset Grill and many others.

Don Babcock, Director of Economic Development for NIPSCO, and President of Michigan City Economic Development shared his company’s commitment to making sure the event is always a success.

“We like to be where others are and partner with other business leaders and organizations who are looking to move the community forward with big, positive family events like this,” Babcock said. “We’ve been here since day one, eleven years ago. It’s one of a handful of events that everyone wants to come to. It’s just a really unique event.”

“We’ve got this beautiful beach -- I like to refer to it as ‘Key West, Indiana.’ We’ve got these big powerboats up here, we’ve got a car show going on. People can come down here, have a great day—all right here in Michigan City,” Babcock said.

The Great Lake Grand Prix has become a major event for the area bringing more than 300,000 visitors to Michigan City and La Porte County over the weekend. The foot traffic coming through contributes to the local economy and is a great boost for the area. The festival has even been featured in Midwest Living Magazine as a Best Festival in Indiana.

Great Lake Grand Prix 2019

Great Lake Grand Prix 2019 242 Photos
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Michael Wilkins, manager of Sunset Grill says that the event is a great thing for everybody in Michigan City.

“We like working with the racers. It’s great seeing them, great working with them. This is just terrific for local business,” said Wilkins.


This year, the Great Lakes Grand Prix saw the addition of jet ski racing to the traditional powerboats featured in previous years. There was also a vintage car show at the beach. Not to be outdone, downtown Michigan City enjoyed the annual Taste of Michigan City, offering delicious food options, live entertainment and of course, the Boat Parade and Block Party. Tomorrow, racing action resumes with more offshore racing. Visit the website for full schedule of events - https://www.greatlakesgrandprix.com/