The race is on!

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The first annual Race the Joe! Jet boat races is on and organizers are expecting to draw thousands of people to St. Maries.

Don’t miss out! Racing doesn’t start until Saturday at 10 a.m. but the four-day event launches with a racer meet-and greet Thursday at Harvest Foods. Organizers expect 20 teams to be in St. Maries for the event.

The St. Maries race is the second of three included in the USA Jet River Racing Series this year. The local course is on a 25-mile stretch of the St. Joe River from St. Maries to Calder.

The first race of the series was in April on the Salmon River at Riggins. The final series race is Aug. 23-25 at Lewiston.

The weekend’s activities kick off Friday at 6 p.m. with a show n’ shine, featuring jet boat race teams at the lower end of the city park. Sprint boats, hydroplanes and pontoon boats will also be on display.

The St. Joe Valley Car Club will provide a pulled-pork barbecue dinner and Rocky Reynolds will entertain. A fireworks show will close the evening at dusk.

Races begin Saturday morning, with a sprint boat exhibition around noon at the Idaho Forest Industries landing, followed by more racing and another sprint boat exhibition to end the evening.

Races continue Sunday and conclude with an awards celebration in the evening.

More than 100 volunteers will help with events. Additional volunteers are welcome.

The event is sponsored by the St. Maries Chamber of Commerce, St. Maries – St. Joe River Jet Boat Committee and Epic Motorsports Consulting Group, L.L.C.

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