Boating is an integral part of life in Sandpoint. After all, when you live in a town situated on a 43-mile long lake, you cannot help but be drawn to the lake and its beautiful shores.
On July 10 and 11, Sandpoint will again play host to the Sandpoint Classic Boat Festival, which is sponsored by the Inland Empire Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society as well as the Sandpoint Business Improvement District. A tradition for the last 13 years, the event is just one of many that have tourists flocking to our area this summer.
“Classic boat owners in general tend to be high income earners or retirees,” said Kim Queen, the Executive Director of the Business Improvement District about the economic impact of the Boat Festival. “While the boat show is held on Saturday, the owners come in on Thursday and Friday and stay through Sunday — most enjoying our local restaurants, bars, hotels and retail shops while they are here.”
Queen said that many of the attendees have shared their desire to return each year because of their love of Sandpoint. And it’s not just the beautiful surroundings either. “The boat owners tell us they come back every year because they love Sandpoint — the beauty, the friendly and engaged people, and the wonderful reception they receive when they come here.”
And of course they enjoy sharing their stories of their beautiful, refurbished boats.
The theme for this year’s event is Cruise for a Cure, a tribute to cancer survivors. There will be some vendors on hand who will carry items specific to boating as well as a kids’ boat building booth with Sandpoint’s Pirate, Captain Sparrow, on hand. “We will also have a few of our non-profit agencies there including Community Cancer Services and Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeepers,” said Queen. “But our intent is to make the emphasis of the event about the amazing classics on display and to encourage visiting boat owners and show attendees to enjoy all that Sandpoint has to offer.”
Also happening that Saturday, July 11, will be Sandpoint’s Flat Water Regatta, which is hosted by the Sandpoint Rotary Club. The event, which launches near City Beach, will run from 10am to 1pm and will raise money to fund a scholarship program for local high school graduates.
It is sure to be a busy weekend down by the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. Summer does not last long in our part of the country, so get out and enjoy it all while you can. And be sure to stop by the Sandpoint Classic Boat Festival and visit with the owners of these magnificent vessels. They love to share their stories!