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PRESQUE ISLE, Mich. — The COVID-19 pandemic caused a lot of summer events to cancel their annual plans in 2020. This summer– many of them are making their way back– including the boat races along Grand Lake.

In 2019, Top O’ Michigan Outboard Racing Club brought the first ever Fireside 500 to Northeast Michigan- a boat race using stock outboards along Grand Lake. Fireside Inn in Presque Isle hosted the event then, and it is going to be the venue again this year. The 2020 race was cancelled- but Top O’ Michigan hopes to bring the event back annually.

“I think everyone is really excited,”  said Top O’ Michigan Commodore Samantha Fairbairn. “I know the Fireside Inn is excited, I think the local community really enjoyed it. We definitely missed it- the Fireside Inn is such a great venue to have it at.”

The race this year is on June 5 and June 6. Fairbairn says the event will still look different than it did pre-pandemic. She plans on releasing the safety guidelines for this year’s race a few weeks before the event. Racers will also be maneuvering their stock outboards across a different course this year.

“We have a longer marathon course, as well, that we are unveiling this year,” Fairbairn said. “We wanted to do something a little bit bigger, the DNR approved it. It’s definitely a bigger course with right and left hand turns, and it goes around some of the islands in Grand Lake.”

For more information and how to register, click here.