Tri-City Water Follies: 2021 Columbia Cup canceled, organizers say

2021 HAPO Over-the-River Air Show and Columbia Cup won't be happening, according to a news release.

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The pandemic has put the summer event of the Tri-Cities in dry dock — again. The Tri-City Water Follies announced on Monday via Facebook that the 2021 Columbia Cup has been canceled.

The organization behind the famed hydroplane races at Kennewick’s Columbia Park wrote in a press release: “The Tri-City Water Follies Association is profoundly sad to announce that the 2021 HAPO Over-the-River Air Show and Columbia Cup is cancelled.”

“Due to the recently issued Washington State Guidelines for Special Events, the size and scope of Boat Race weekend is not allowed,” said Hector Cruz, president of the Tri-City Water Follies.

“The Tri-City Water Follies Board of Directors partnered and worked very hard with the City of Kennewick, City of Pasco and Visit Tri-Cities to communicate with the Governor’s office to amend the guidelines,” added Event Director Kathy Powell.

“We gave it our best shot, to no avail.”

Kennewick City Manager Marie Mosley said the Water Follies Association volunteers truly did work incredibly hard to try to make the event happen after having to cancel in 2020, also due to the pandemic.

“We’re disappointed for our citizens that look forward to the annual races and airshow,” Mosley said. “The iconic Water Follies event is a showcase attraction for our community, and its positive impact on tourism will be missed.”

Organizers estimate 1,200 volunteers work all year to plan and organize the event for 65,000 spectators.

The Tri-Cities is a top venue for hydroplane racing. The event generates over $3 million in economic impact for local businesses, organizers say, and profits from the event have funded improvements to the band shell, the Playground of Dreams and the sound system at Columbia Park.

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