Illinois’ Kankakee River to Roar Back to Life in 2024 with Decade-Awaited Boat Race


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KANKAKEE, Illinois – A decade has passed, but the roar of engines and the splash of boats is set to make a triumphant return to the Kankakee River Valley.

Labor Day Weekend 2024 will see the much-anticipated revival of the Regatta Powerboat Races, a community favorite that once echoed through the heart of Illinois.

“We are overjoyed to welcome back the Kankakee River Regatta to our city after an extended hiatus,” said Mayor Chris Curtis. “This has been a goal that I wanted to make happen since becoming Mayor.”

Event organizer Elizabeth Lubben emphasizes the deep-rooted community connection, reminding all of racer Jackie Grosso’s enduring legacy. “Jackie’s memory remains in our hearts. Jackie was so passionate about the races, and her determination to race herself inspires me to bring the races back and honor her legacy.”

Grosso, 15 at the time of her death, was killed while participating in a race during the annual Regatta in 1999. At the time, she reportedly lost control of her boat while turning, ejecting the girl. The September 2024 event will mark the 25th anniversary of the tragic accident.

Spanning August 30 to September 1, 2024, attendees can expect a series of events, from practice rounds to adrenaline-packed championship finals.


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