Nearly 50 watercross race teams are expected Saturday and Sunday to compete on the Columbia River during the annual Apple Pie Jamboree.
The race comes one year and a day after the Carlton Complex wildfire, the largest in Washington state history, destroyed more than 71 homes in the small community on the Columbia River. The fire hit the city just hours before last year’s celebration was to begin, prompting rescheduling of the watercross race.
“Northwest racers consider Pateros their home away from home,” Tour Promoter Roger Harnack said, noting many are excited about returning to Pateros to help the town celebrate its rise from the wildfire’s ashes.
The town, too, is looking forward to the racers’ return, with a meet-and-greet party planned for 7 p.m. Saturday at SweetRiver Bakery.
Racing takes place each day during the town celebration that includes the Ray Stanley Memorial Bass Tournament, 3-on-3 basketball, a 5K run, parade, entertainment, fireworks and, of course, apple pie. The street though downtown will be closed to traffic during the festivities.
International Jet Sports Boating Association members who are racing or volunteering are eligible to camp for free in the town’s Methow River boat launch park, at the confluence of the Methow and Columbia rivers.
Registrations open about 5 p.m. Friday and continue at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. A few practice sessions are tentatively set for 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, with racing from 11 a.m. to about 4 p.m. each day.
“Old Glory” will be presented from a Jet Ski about at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, accompanied by area resident Melissa Markel singing the “National Anthem.”
The largest Jet Ski race in the Pacific Northwest in the last decade took place at the 2013 Apple Pie Jamboree.