WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK (WETM-TV)- For 27 years, on the Friday after Labor Day, the streets and roads of Watkins Glen and the Original Grand Prix Race Course have come to life with hundreds of sports cars, race cars, classics, and motorcycles participating in the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival. This year’s Festival was scheduled for Friday, September 11, but has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
The decision to cancel the Festival this year was made by the board of directors of Watkins Glen Promotions, the overall producer of the Festival.
Marianne Marts, Chair of the Grand Prix Festival Management Committee, said the decision was extremely difficult but necessary at a time when the virus is not yet under control.
“Our committee members worked for months to try and identify ways we could host our fans and participants while keeping them safe under health guidelines, but we finally had to join the ranks of so many other events that have been cancelled this year,” said Marts. She added, “This is one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make, as it impacts our registrants, our volunteers, our many faithful sponsors, our thousands of fans, and the community. We are turning our attention to our planning for 2021, and we hope to see our fans and friends back at that time.”
The Festival usually brings some 20,000 visitors to Watkins Glen for a day of racing history, celebrations, and Stone Bridge Driver rallies and fun.
Fans who have registered for any of the nine Stone Bridge Driver events in the Festival will be able to obtain refunds, roll their registrations over to the 2021 Festival, or treat their fees as tax-deductible donations to Watkins Glen Promotions.
The Grand Prix Festival Management Committee is looking forward to producing the 2021 Festival, now scheduled for Friday, September 10, 2021.
For more information, visit www.grandprixfestival.com.
Below is a map of the Old Course as originally drawn by New Yorker cartoonist Sam Cobean:
Watkins Glen Promotions is a 501-C(3) nonprofit organization which produces four Schuyler County events each year. They include the Waterfront Festival in June, the Grand Prix Festival in September, the Falls Harvest Festival in October, and the Village Christmas in December