It's been over eight years since hyrdroplane racing last rumbled across the waters of the Ohio River in downtown Evansville, but that drought comes to an end this weekend as the roar of the engines returns at the first annual Hydrofest!

Long-time residents of the Tri-State no doubt have fond memories of the days of Thunder on the Ohio, the annual event along Dress Plaza in downtown Evansville was a summer staple from 1979 until its final run in 2009. For a few of those years, I was fortunate enough to have a front row seat for the action as my dad was the crane operator that took the always popular, Miss Budweiser in and out of the water.

Hydrofest promises to bring that same excitement back to the riverfront this weekend with 14 classes of hydroplanes battling it out on the waters of the Ohio River at break-neck speeds for the American Power Boat Association's North American Championships.

The event will also feature food vendors throughout the weekend, as well as live music both Friday and Saturday night at the Tropicana Casino Outdoor Plaza after racing is finished each day. Friday night's show will feature local favorites Calabash and The Cold Stares, and will be emceed by The Rob and Maddie West!

Saturday night's show will offer a bit more of a country flair with performances by Troy Miller and Haywire.

Admission wristbands are available for $10 each and are available at SWIRCA, the Evansville Museum of Art, History and Science, the Evansville Visitors Center at the Pagoda, all 6-area Schnucks stores, and all 9-area Heritage Federal Credit Union locations.

For more information on the weekend's events, including the complete race schedule, visit the Evansville Hydrofest website.