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Grand Prix celebrates racing history

    WATKINS GLEN—The village of Watkins Glen will relive its historic racing past with the annual Grand Prix Festival this Friday, Sept. 9.
    The festival has been held since 1993, celebrating the village’s heritage of motor racing. Last year, an estimated 20,000 spectators attended the day-long event. This year’s featured marque car is the Datsun/Nissan. Watkins Glen International will also be hosting the Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix this weekend, Friday to Sunday. It will include races, based on car type and manufacturing date.
    The Grand Prix Festival in Watkins Glen starts Friday morning with registrations for the various runs and tours. At 9:30 a.m. Smalley’s Garage will host a memorial gathering for Adele Sauter and Florence Smalley. Starting at 10 a.m., Watkins Glen State Park will host the Concours d’Elegance (a judged exhibition of select cars) and Community Bank will host the Concours d’LeMons (a show for odd cars). Judging of the Concours d’Elegance begins at 11 a.m. The Schuyler County Courthouse lawn will host the Walk of Fame Inductions at noon.
    From 1:10 to 4:30 p.m., cars will do laps of the original course. In sequence, the Stone Bridge Driver events will be:
    • Tour de Marque
    • Concourse d’LeMons
    • Glenora Run
    • Founders’ Tour
    • Sporting Roadster Tour
    • Concours d’Elegance
    Also scheduled for the afternoon:
    • The marque Datsuns will also be on display at Lafayette Park at 2 p.m.
    • Kid Racer School and Derby begins, Franklin and Fourth Streets, at 2 p.m.
    • The Legends Speak, Lafayette Park, at 3 p.m.
    • Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) Race Cars arrive from WGI, 4:30 p.m.
    • Concourse d’Elegance Awards Ceremony, original start/finish line, 5 p.m.
    • Opening ceremonies will be held at the original start/finish line, 5:35 to 7:30 p.m. The original 6.6 mile circuit will be closed to public traffic for the SVRA Watkins Glen Heritage Tour parade laps at 6:30 p.m.
    • The day ends with fireworks at 8 p.m.
    Roads will be closed at various times throughout the day. Third Street will be closed all day for the event. Starting at noon, Fifth through 10th Streets will be closed for one block each, between Franklin and Decatur. Franklin Street will also close at 1 p.m., from First to 10th Streets. Streets reopen at 9 a.m.
    No parking will be in effect the day of the festival at the following locations from 12 to 9 p.m. Residents who live in these locations are asked to find alternate parking: both sides of West Fourth Street, south side of East Fourth Street from Franklin to Porter Streets, both sides of 15th, 11th and Seventh Streets, south side of First Street, both sides of Decatur Street from First to 15th Streets, west side of Perry Street from Third to 10th Streets.
South Monroe Street, South Jackson and South Madison Avenue will be closed to thru traffic during the festival. Residents on these streets must enter and exit by way of Steuben Street.
    For more, visit
    The U.S. Vintage Grand Prix Festival at The Glen also starts on Friday with the gate opening at 7 a.m. Qualifying races for the different car groups start at 8 a.m. Cars will leave the track throughout the day for the different events in the village.
    On Saturday, qualifying races continue in the morning, with races following. The Classic Enduro #1 for certain groups also starts at 10:30 a.m. The SVRA Collier Cup Race for MGs is at 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, the last race starts at 4:30 p.m.
    Tickets costs $45 for the weekend. Sunday only tickets cost $30. Children age 15 and under are free.
For more, visit


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