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Grand Prix Festival set for Friday, Sept. 6 ADVERTISEMENT

Grand Prix Festival set for Friday, Sept. 6

WATKINS GLEN--The village of Watkins Glen will see the annual transformation into a vintage road course racetrack for the 26th annual Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen, Friday, Sept. 6. The event pays tribute to the street racing era of 1948-52 and is held in conjunction with Watkins Glen International hosting the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) series.
This year the featured car manufacture is Triumph and there are events throughout the day embracing the racing heritage of the area.
At 9:30 a.m. Smalley's Garage on South Franklin Street will host a tech inspection reenactment much like they would have done in the original racing days. Then at 10 a.m. the Concours d'Elegance, memorabilia sales and the Concorso Speciale open on North Franklin Street.
The Glenkhana driving obstacle course will be held at the Watkins Glen State Park parking lot at 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. will begin the numerous driving tours around the region.
Fifth through 10th Streets will close to traffic at noon and a Walk of Fame induction ceremony takes place on the Courthouse lawn. The northern streets of Second through Fourth will also be closed after 1 p.m. At that time, the Stone Bridge Drivers old course lap tours begin.
Community Bank will host both a motorcycle and car show in the afternoon, while Lafayette Park includes the Triumph display and expert racing commentary at 2:30 p.m.
The SVRA cars arrive in the village at 4:45 p.m. before the pre-race ceremonies at 5:35 p.m. Parade laps around the original 6.6-mile road circuit happen at 6:10 p.m. and the tribute racing starts at 6:30 p.m.
A full schedule and description of the events downtown is available at
Events in the village are free to attend and a shuttle bus can help reduce walking and congestion by allowing parking at the Clute Park Community Center on Route 414 and riding to Franklin Street. Franklin reopens at 8 p.m., Friday night.
The action will then move to WGI for the remainder of the weekend. On-track action begins Thursday and continues until 4 p.m., Sunday. Tickets for the events at the racetrack are $75. A full schedule of events can be seen at

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