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MARBLE FALLS — After 26 years, the LakeFest drag boat races appear to have come to a close.

Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce officials stated that they received a notice from the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series that it would be proposing some significant changes for the 2018 event.

The chamber, which sponsors LakeFest, and Lucas Oil were unable to reach an agreement during negotiations regarding the proposed changes.

“We were aware of the process Lucas Oil began last year with regards to restructuring their drag boat series, but we were hopeful we would be able to continue this long-standing relationship and keep LakeFest a viable option for Lucas,” said Patti Zinsmeyer, the chamber executive director. “It boiled down to being a business decision.”

With no agreement, Lucas Oil will not be sanctioning drag boat races on Lake Marble Falls in 2018, officials said.

LakeFest, which was held in early August, could draw between 12,000 and 15,000 people during the three-day event. The chamber of commerce built the annual drag boat races into a popular and successful event.

LakeFest even earned Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series Event of the Year for 2017.

“Our community has hosted this fantastic event for 26 years now,” Marble Falls Mayor John Packer said. “We have been working with the chamber to ensure that LakeFest continued even with the downtown redevelopment. While unfortunate, I respect the decisions made by everyone involved.”

72 thoughts on “Marble Falls LakeFest drag boat races canceled

  1. I am sad that one of the best events in central Texas seems to be history. My only thought would be to have it in a cooler month. The loud noises people are complaining about are like Austin and it being the “live music capital of the world” which of course it isn’t and hasn’t been for decades! I know, lets cancel every event that has ever been conceived because one or two people object to it…it was the city council and Lucas racing that killed this event, nobody else…

  2. Lucas Oil got greedy and decided to substantially raise sponsorship fees to the city of Marble Falls.
    Wisely,the city declined to agree to the ransom.

  3. I think the Lucas folks and city leaders/officials need to work out a compromise, it sounds like a money issue, the City of Marble falls loses if this event gets canceled permanently. When Austin canceled Aquafest racing years ago it has gone the way of the most horrible liberal towns in existence anywhere, they don’t allow events unless they now conform to the Communist Manifesto there! Fix it and reschedule it for a cooler weekend in the fall…

  4. Been coming here for 20 years. Didn’t mind the road trip from Bryan.They had boat drags there for 5 years and mysteriously stopped. Why ? Not many complaints.Brought in about a million dollars in extra money for the county if I not more.Theres always going to be somebody to start (edited) and spoil everybody’s fun . Some people JESUS CHRIST can’t please. Good luck on getting the event back. GOD BLESS TEXAS

  5. Very disappointing. This has become a tradition within our household to attend on an annual basis. I am now a full time resident of this area (Horseshoe Bay), and this is definitely a let down that is bound to have major financial implications to small business in the community. Difficult to know the facts from this article, but as an executive that negotiates for a living, I would have loved to have been a part of these discussions / negotiations. I hope the responsible people involved had clear insight to the much larger picture of the community. I doubt the Marble Falls / Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce has any plans of replacing this revenue to our small business community.

    As for the naysayers, I would agree, put your house on VRBO or AirBnB for the weekend, and make some money while you visit some where quiet that weekend in our Great State of Texas.

  6. Just learned all these associations run under the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series, unless there are other sanctions, we’re DOOMED!

  7. Isn’t there other boat race sanctions?
    SDBA perhaps, we need o work harder to fill this gap, lots of revenue lost!!

  8. I am from San Angelo and attended the marble falls race for 17 years and loved it. My family and I quit going because I got a ticket for “parking on an embankment leading to a bridge”. We had parked in that same spot for probably 10 years and never had an issue. By that time the race had really began to decline and just wasn’t that much fun. Now that here in San Angelo we have our own race I will not miss yalls. If you want to really to see a great race and a boat racing party come here we would love to have you. We also had some idiots who complained because they live at the lake and think they own it but we just tuned them out.

  9. Very disappointing. The area’s marquee event. This is a big step backwards for our community. I would like more details regarding the impass.

  10. Makes me laugh about the noise and traffic. The triathlon has way more traffic problems than the races ever did. What they arent telling you is they are going shut the lake down from all motor boats. All you ppl building new docks on lake Marble Falls youd better watch your ***. Throwing your money away. They are going to shut you down too. Give it 2 yrs and our not so great city will make it a kayak canoe triathlon lake. Horrible. Austin like. What a great town marble was. Sorry citizens living here. Sorry there are 10 ppl that get to make everyones decision.

    1. You could very well be right about them eliminatin motor boats but wouldn’t that include jetskis and wave runners. And wouldn’t it have to be a joint effort with meadow lakes,lcra and cottonwood shores in order to accomplish that goal.

  11. The chamber said the proposed changes would mean hosting the Lakefest at a loss.

  12. No boat races. What is the chamber going to do to bring in people? Masy be we can have a 3 day concert in the park instead.

  13. After living in Austin for the past 34 years my wife and I finally made it to last year’s races, not realizing it now might have been our last and only opportunity. I’m sooooo glad we made the trek.For several hours I had a near permanent grin on my face, as we were bombarded by the astonishing noise and visual spectacle of the event. The icing on the cake was the fellowship and camaraderie of like-minded attendees and the friendliness of the local folks. It is my hope that the city of Marble Falls and Lucas Oil can eventually reconsider and resolve whatever differences that brought on this sad impasse.

  14. 3 days of noise versus higher property taxes and bad roads. Hopefully they can work out a deal.

  15. We have lived along Lakeshore Drive (the area of the city most affected by the boat races) for almost 20 years now. Yes, it was a slight irritant to have to drown out the sounds of the boats and find another route to go to and from our home one weekend each year. I never minded, because I knew that the 15,000 or so visitors had a positive effect on Marble Falls’ economy that extended well beyond the one week they were here.

    I would like to know exactly what “proposed changes” Lucas Oil proposed that made it a deal killer for the Chamber of Commerce. It is being treated like a state secret.

    1. It is a secret. The city wants to raise taxes to make their income. Kinda lazy on their part.

      1. BINGO !!! Less revenue from outside sources means more money coming out of Marble Falls taxpayer wallets, plain and simple !!! All those opposed to the race, you in turn oppose the huge revenue generating machine that could have saved you money off your taxes and city services.
        Keep that in mind next time you receive your property tax statement !!!

    2. Perfect attitude Neal. Even if you didn’t like Drag Boat Racing, it’s only one weekend a year. Just wait until they start construction on this new Hotel. Months and months of construction noise. If I lived in MF, I’d have a big party or family reunion that weekend. I won’t miss the price gouging from local motels/hotels, doubling room rates overnight, but I will certainly miss the hospitality of the good folks in MF and the Blue Bonnet Cafe is the one business I will miss the most.

      The Chamber of Commerce has always managed to make things work in the past with the SDBA and IHBA, and even when the IHBA formed, they co-sanctioned the event with SDBA. I’d bet my last dollar that Lucas Oil wanted far more than their share of the pie.

  16. Marble Falls is definitely not the town my family moved to in 1977. It was a small quiet town where everyone knew each other and the pace of life was slower. Over the years there have been many changes, but one constant has always been growth. I am neither a fan of the races nor the new resort, but realize that change is a inevitable reality. Embrace the memories you have and don’t waste energy on negatively. Life is too short!

  17. Too many people moving to Texas. Making small town into cities. All the California need to go back to Cali.

    1. Perfectly said. Including the libs that have been running mf. Like the white house. Clean them out. Vote real ppl in.

  18. Seems I remember hearing a year or two ago that Lucas oil may pull out due to the price gouging at these businesses that were built built just for that precise purpose. They could walk out and not look back and not loose sleep. The race will be somewhere and they will follow it just as they came here. All good things must come to an end for those that benefit by it. These races have done nothing for me or my family. No increased income, no advantage to shopping, only frustrating traffic and higher prices. And as for increased property taxes, are you saying that they haven’t been going up along the past 20 years anyway

  19. From reading the article, it sounds like Waco all over again. After the drag boat races were cancelled in Waco, pretty much everything started going down hill. I did not mind the noise or the traffic, cause when the drag boat races were in town, I would always be out there working along with 3 other ambulances.

  20. Sounds like the city of Marble Falls should step up and sponsor the yearly event. Chamber out….okay! So the city of Marble Falls needs to step up and sponsor the event. The tax revenue it brings the city should be a key driver to have city council members take action to keep the 26 yr event in Marble Falls.

    1. The council is more concerned with more advolorem taxes then sales tax money. They clearly show on the city webpage that they want to be less dependent on sales taxes by 2025. Their goal is to have 50% of revenue to come from property taxes. By cutting sales taxes coming in it will allow them to prove their agenda.

  21. Go ahead might as well get rid of children’s day, howdy roo, and the walkway of lights to just go ahead take all the fun out of the town away from us I guess I just better be glad I’m moving then

  22. O.K.–what’s next to go??? The Walkway Of Lights????

  23. It all comes down to Pure greed look forward to very soon seeing the homeowner’s taxes in Marble Falls going Sky High

  24. Totally uncool. I do not like what I’m seeing from our city leaders. They appear determined to reshape our city for the worse.

  25. And the proposed changes from Lucas were what exactly? This would’ve been a decent news article if you’d included that info. Was it Lucas or the Chamber that was inflexible? Certainly would make a difference in public opinion…

  26. I do not know what Lucas Oil wanted. However, this is, or was, an important event for our area. As for the noise and traffic, any large, money making, event will involve these issues. For one weekend, please. I agree with Rick.

  27. Well,
    There goes that revenue. And tradition. All because of a liberalist agenda. Just sickening

    1. Step away from the Fox News. Nothing here said it was anything other than a business decision.

    2. Who said this was liberalist or coservative? Its neither. Comments like your’s devide people. We need your anger and hate off of here. Take it someplace else. We are all Texans here. Then start acting like one. If you missed that, close your mouth and start listening again.

  28. Shame on you . It’s just so a hotel we do not need can be forced down out throats . Campers corner was stolen by the city and now they just gonna give away to strangers our best peace of land . You can damn sure bet I’ll be at the next election City elections that is in the people that are sitting right now damn sure won’t get my vote none of them

    1. There is not going to be an election this year. 3 incumbents are running unopposed and one new face is running for an unexpired seat. The election will be canceled just like it has been for the last two times.

  29. This article seems to be lacking a key point. What are the reasons the chamber and Lucas oil could not come to agreement?

    1. I would like to know the reason behind this as well. Also, people it is only 3 days out of a year. If you are seriously crying about it then you are little brats. This is how prominent towns turn to holes in the wall…lack of revenue. If you can’t see that then you are as smart as a box of rocks.

    2. Money plain and simple. It always is. But then there is also the new hotel and park remodeling coming soon that might be a factor in it. Boat ramp issue comes into play as well. Look at the advisory board. The mayor and edc director both sit on that board. There are other key players in this town on the board too.

  30. Oh, Happy Day. oh, Happy Day! I for one will not miss them. Good riddance to bad garbage I say!

  31. Marble Falls was around long before this loud ass race. It will be around long after. I have always disliked this race. So glad it won’t be waking people up on weekends anymore.

    1. All that whining and crying over 3-4 days. That’s pretty pathetic for a grown ass man.

    2. Funny grown *** men want to sleep all day. Get a life. Hobby or something

      1. What do you think Dragboat racing IS you old fool.. lol. It’s a VERY EXPENSIVE hobby beyond your imagination. Those boats are worth more than most houses in Marble Falls.

  32. This is really sad! Some of the best Drag Boat Races are held there. It generates money for a lot of businesses that helps keep their doors open. Hopefully Lucas Oil can work with the Chamber of Commerce on this and bring the Races back in 2019 and carry on the tradition. If not, pictures and memories are all we have left! Good Luck!

  33. Awww no more have to go the long way around Johnson park to get home ?.
    They should have ended the races years ago happy to see them go.

      CAN’T SLEEP!
      BUNCH OF CRY BABIES…THAT CRAP WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR AFTER THE FACT CRYBABIES !!!Should have cryed louder before the races got cancelled…..DUH !
      BOO WAH BOO WAH BOK WAH !!!!!!

    2. What will you say when you start having higher taxes ? Still be glad?

  34. Well, I guess the revenue my family of 5 has spent in Marble Falls for most of the past 20 years will be spent elsewhere.

  35. This is part of Marble Falls .Fix it . This is totally unacceptable.

  36. Aw Gee. Does this mean no more ear splitting noise, no more traffic congestion, no more potential water accidents? Gee, What a shame.

    1. Yes it does…. but it also means less money for the city of marble falls!!! It also means no more people from all over the world it also means that the chamber does not get the possibility of showing off what an amazing town marble falls really is!!! You have your opinions and that’s fine… but your not apart of a boat racing family and to us this is devastating!!! Marble falls is by far one of the best races of the season…. and to be real honest if you don’t like the noise or the traffic or the water accidents then plan a trip out of town that weekend it’s that simple!!!

      1. I completely agree, Megan, I am part of the race family and I love it, if this is your town and you don’t like the noise, traffic etc.. then YOU leave your wonderful town and let us race fans have our time, races are far and few between not everyone can travel to all of them, so yes being from North Texas, I will hate that my Nitrochondriac team will not be in Marble falls this year

    2. Wow, seems you need not be such a ? ass. If you don’t like it. Stay away.
      Many people would disagree with your thought process. ???

    3. Yea…. Its also means some of the businesses are that rely on those 15000 people every tear will no longer have that. Which really is a shame. Jerk

    4. You know it is a shame cause that city will loose out on sooo much money. If it wasn’t for the drag boat races marble falls wouldn’t even exist

      1. Not trumps fault snowflake read the article pertaining to the races cancellations

      2. Another closet liberal … probably from Austin !!! Hey ” walked ” why don’t you walk yourself back to Austin where you belong !!!

    5. The only way to stop potential water accidents is to not let anything or anyone into the water. Maybe they can stop the potential accidents from the triathlon or howdy roo too by getting rid of them too.

    6. I’ve been involved in boat racing for over 40 years and Marble Falls was the best race site of them all. It’s so sad and such a shame that racers, fans, spectators and vendors will lose out, but so will the city, businesses and citizens of beautiful Marble Falls and the surrounding areas. Without this race bringing in folks from all over the world and those folks wanting to visit Marble Falls again, I think there will be a long lasting negative affect for the city.

    7. What a shame to see all the revenue that that brings into the city or marble Falls. Yes your hotels charge more for their rooms and got it . Yes your street for crowded with visitors spending money in your town so that it would look nice and pretty to the other tourists that visit other times of the year. Yes my city has done a similar thing. I am about 180 miles from you in a town of 14,000 that had a 3 weekend event that pulled in about 50,000 visitors. Today it lucky to have 3,500 visitors. Now we have higher taxes and a broke city.

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