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Boat races return to Lake Decatur after two decades

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — On Saturday, thousands of people in Decatur showed up for an event they’ve been waiting 20 years for.

Boats had not raced in Lake Decatur since 2004. That changed this weekend.

Hardy’s Highway Race for the Lake returned on Saturday. A total of 64 boats from throughout the country turned out to race. The event did have a wind delay which pushed back the event later into the afternoon.

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Race Chairman Blake Harned said it’s the little things that makes the event so special.

“Everywhere I look, there’s a kid sitting in a boat right now. And that’s what it’s all about, is we want to give back to the community,” he said. “Be it racing for you in the water or coming in the pit area, we’ll sign some autographs and we’ll put some of the kids in the boats.”

Upwards of 30 sponsors from the community helped to make it happen. Races will continue into Sunday night. Organizers say the race will be back in Decatur for years to come.

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