The Watkins Glen Grand Prix Lives On

The streets of Watkins Glen will come alive with race cars from years past and provide visitors a peek into the town’s racing heritage during the 2010 Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen on Friday, September 10. There will be no better way for fans to celebrate American Road Racing and appreciate its rich history than by joining the festival in its birthplace – Watkins Glen. The festival is free to the general public and starts at 1:00 PM with the Tour de Marque and culminates with a fireworks show at the Watkins Glen State Park entrance at 8:00 PM. The 2010 Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen continues the tradition of road racing in Watkins Glen, a village respected among racing enthusiasts as the American Mecca for the sport. Each year the festival serves as the kickoff event for the Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix presented by Welliver-McGuire at Watkins Glen International, and celebrates the community’s rich road racing heritage. The events are held in conjunction with each other and solidifies Watkins Glen’s claim to fame as the site of the rebirth of American road racing following World War II. It offers a true taste of the excitement that the racing community has brought to this village since 1948.The festival is once again proudly presented by Chemung Canal Trust Company and is staged on the length of Franklin Street, the main “drag” through the village. The street, closed to regular vehicular traffic, is filled all day long with vintage race cars and all the wonderful sounds, smells, and sensations that just naturally surround them.This year’s event features Alfa Romeo, a fine Italian marque with involvement dating back to the beginnings of the Watkins Glen Grand Prix. Frank Griswold won the very first Watkins Glen Grand Prix in 1948 in his 1938 Alfa Romeo Touring Coupe. Griswold’s #35 car is now owned by Jon and Mary Shirley of Seattle who will be bringing this gorgeous car to the festival. It will be on display at the court house lawn and will also lead the field for the highlight of the festival, the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Tribute. At 4:30pm, vintage race cars will arrive from Watkins Glen International to park on display on Franklin Street. At 6:00pm, the cars will roar into life and take parade laps around the original street circuit that was used from 1948 to 1952.The Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen is a production of Watkins Glen Promotions, a non-profit organization supporting quality special events in Schuyler County. For more information, visit the official website wwww.GrandPrixFestival.com or contact Watkins Glen Promotions at 607-535-3003.

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