As I drove back and forth from Arab to Grant last week I couldn’t help but notice something – a big event has come to Guntersville.

That event, of course, was the 2019 H1 Unilimited HydroFest. I still remember the first year Guntersville hosted HydroFest in 2017, and my oh my, how far we’ve come.

The entire event was impressive this year. Everything from the crowd size, quality of the races, entertainment for all ages along Sunset Drive and the organization, thanks to so many different entities. It was nothing short of impressive.

I arrived at the races around 9 a.m. Saturday morning to get some interviews, take some pictures and fish around for an interesting feature. I can’t remember a time when I gathered so many great stories with such ease.

So many smart measures were taken to make sure people could come and go. I thought the shutting down of the left lane on Highway 69 down the causeway was a brilliant idea, and the folks who worked to make sure everyone got from point A to point B did a fantastic job.

Did you see the big white vans traveling from the pits to Sunset and Civitan Park? I was in one of those for most of the morning and was driven around by none other than Donna Cornelius. I have to thank her for not only getting me where I needed to go, but also entertaining the heck out of me.

I talked to several drivers who had nothing but great things to say about Guntersville and the county as a whole for putting on such a great event. There were also many out of town and out of state race fans who enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

After interviewing and taking pictures, my wife and I visited the Marshall County Visitors and Convention Bureau tent to catch some of the action. All around the area, adults were enjoying their day despite the heat and children lined the shoreline to get a glimpse of boats going 160 miles per hour. Wherever you looked, people were having a good time and that’s what it’s all about.

There are just too many people to brag on in regard to the organization of the entire event. I watched so many people, close friends and strangers alike, work extremely hard to make sure the thousands of people in attendance enjoyed themselves.

I honestly think it’s safe to say we may have stumbled upon a new tradition in our small corner of the world. I genuinely hope we see these HydroFests continue in the future. There’s no doubt it’s a large undertaking for the City of Guntersville and Marshall County but to me it seems the organizers from the ground level and up have a good grasp on what needs to be done to make HydroFest a success.

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