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Hardy’s Highway Boat Races

June 9 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

June 8 & 9 / 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. / Parking on Lakeshore Drive will begin at 7:00 a.m.

Hardy’s Highway Race for the Lake – Important Information

Decatur IL: Get ready for the thrilling Hardy’s Highway Race for the Lake event taking place on June 8th and 9th at Nelson Park and Lake Decatur! To ensure you have the best experience, here are some important details to note:

Live Stream – Spectators can tune in to LIVE coverage of the event by streaming WSOY 1340AM radio on NowDecatur.com. Don’t miss a moment of the action!  Please note that the best way to tune into the race action and hear important announcements is to go directly to NowDecatur.com.  WSOY 1340AM radio will be broadcasting the Cardinal games on both race days however the stream on NowDecatur.com will always be live with boat race coverage.

Road Closures – Lakeshore Drive from Lost Bridge Road to Cantrell Street into Nelson Park will be closed starting at 5 a.m. on Friday, June 7th and will reopen on Monday, June 10th at 5am. Please plan to use alternate routes during this time.   Detour signage will be provided.

Spectator Parking – Parking for spectators will be available on Lake Shore Drive for $5.00. Motorists should enter from the intersection of Lost Bridge Road/16th Street and Lake Shore Drive. A tram shuttle will be provided to transport patrons to Nelson Park.  No overnight parking is allowed.

No Spectator Parking in Nelson Park on Saturday – Please note that there will be no public parking available in Nelson Park on Saturday. Consider using the convenient $5 parking option available on Lake Shore Drive.

Sunday Spectator Parking – On Sunday, Parking will also be available in the Devon Lakeshore Amphitheater lot as well as adjacent parking lots for $5.00.   Please follow the designated signage.

Coolers and Personal Belongings – No Coolers will be allowed in Nelson Park or on Lake Shore Drive.  No personal belongings (chairs, tents, etc.) will be allowed to remain overnight.   All personal belongings must be removed overnight between race days.


Boater Specific Information

Boat Ramps and Fuel Dock Closure – The Nelson Park Boat Ramps and the Fuel Dock will be closed from 5 a.m. on Friday, June 7, until 5 a.m. on Monday, June 10.  Please plan to utilize another boat ramp outside basin #2 during this time and consider filling your boat at the fuel dock the week leading up to the races.

Boat Travel – Slip Renters in Nelson Park as well as other dock owners in Basin #2 who wish to exit their slips for open water to observe the races or make their way to other portions of the Lake on will need to do so by 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 8th and Sunday, June 9th.   Boaters traveling from other basins to watch the races will also need to be in basin #2 by 9 a.m.

Boaters may not leave their slips after 9 a.m. until a break in racing is announced which could be early afternoon.  Both Lake Patrol and IDNR Officers will be patrolling the area once race boats begin entering the water to ensure a safe event.   Please tune in to the live stream on WSOY at NowDecatur.com for periodic break announcements.

 No Wake Zone – On Saturday, June 8th and Sunday, June 9th, Basin #2 will be designated as a no wake zone for all spectator boats from bridge to bridge. Please adhere to this requirement to ensure safety and enjoyment for everyone.  Officers from the IDNR will be assisting Decatur Lake Patrol Officers to ensure a safe event for all.

 Periodic Breaks – Boaters who do not leave their slips at Nelson Park, their personal docks, or travel from another basin before 9 a.m. for open water may do so during periodically announced breaks.  Boaters may also return to their slips or travel to another basin during announced break periods.  Boat travel must not create a wake in Basin #2 even during periodic breaks.  Breaks are not scheduled and will wholly depend on how the races progress.  The race is jam packed with heats and is sure to be an exciting, but long two days.  PLAN ACCORDINGLY. Tune into the race stream on WSOY at NowDecatur.com for announcements and updates.

Accidents – In the unfortunate event of an accident, trained rescue and dive teams will respond accordingly.  Personal watercraft are asked to remain at the multicolored buoy line and not interfere in order to allow first responders quicker access to area of the accident.

Anchoring – Boats are allowed to anchor outside of the multicolored buoy line. Refer to the attached picture for visual guidance.

Parking Passes – A limited number of parking passes for boat slip renters will be available at the Decatur Park District main office located at 620 East Riverside Avenue starting on Monday, June 3, at 10 a.m. Each slip renter is eligible for only 1 parking pass. Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

We hope this information helps you plan your visit to Hardy’s Highway Race for the Lake at Nelson Park and Lake Decatur. Enjoy the incredible races and the exciting atmosphere!


June 9
10:00 am - 5:00 pm