Calling all area boaters: this summer’s Sault Ste. Marie Poker Run needs your help. The event, which will feature more than 30 high-performance speed vessels on the St. Mary’s River, is looking for boat owners to help administer the safety zones.
Taking place August 4 to 6, the 2017 Poker Run will showcase these beautiful speedboats as the route starts at the Roberta Bondar Marina in Sault Ste. Marie to Thessalon and back. Making five stops along the way, the vessels collect five playing cards. When they return to the Sault’s downtown, the best poker hand wins. Water marshals are required to ensure the boats follow the proper course and indicate the specific slow zones.
For the main event on Saturday, August 5, marshals are needed for the following areas on the St. Mary’s River: Sault Ste. Marie, Sugar Island, Richards Landing, Port Findly / St. Joseph Island Bridge, Hilton Beach, and Thessalon.
To register as a marshal, or for additional information, please contact:
Pierre Savoie, Event Organizer for Poker Runs America, at 1-800-354-9145 ext. 227 or [email protected]; or
Megan Parlowe, Events Coordinator for Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, at 705-541-7320 or [email protected].
Canadian and American boaters are welcomed.
Being a water marshal is an excellent way to see the event up close and personal. Just ask Gerald Buchanan, who volunteered for the inaugural CAN/AM President’s Cup VIP Poker Run last year. “It’s a great way to get involved,” he said. “Being a boat marshal gives you a front-row seat to all the action. I really enjoyed the experience. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
During the 2017 Poker Run, there will be opportunities for area residents to engage in the excitement throughout the weekend. Activities and entertainment are planned along the Sault Ste. Marie waterfront at the Roberta Bondar Marina and Pavilion. The schedule includes:
Friday, August 4 – Community Night: The public can see the high-performance boats up-close and meet the owners at the Community Kickoff Party & Opening Ceremonies at the Roberta Bondar Pavilion from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Enjoy live music, fresh food from local vendors and cold Northern Superior brew, the official beer of the 2017 CAN/AM President’s Cup VIP Poker Run.
Saturday, August 5 – Poker Run Day: Spectators are welcome to line up along the Sault Ste. Marie shoreline to see the boats in action. Opening remarks and national anthems will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Roberta Bondar Marina. The Parade of Power will commence at 10 a.m., with a “Run the Throttle” group start for the Poker Run at 10:30 a.m. Citizens in Richards Landing, Hilton Beach, and Thessalon are encouraged to welcome boats as they arrive in their community. The boats are scheduled to return to Sault Ste. Marie at 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 6 – Charity Rides: For a fee, the public can take a “Ride of a Lifetime” on the speedboats. All proceeds will support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sault Ste. Marie. To see the times and availability, or to purchase charity ride tickets, visit www.saultpokerrun.com.
Like last year’s event, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, is working with Poker Runs America on planning and delivering the 2017 Poker Run. For accommodation packages and other information, visit www.saultpokerrun.com.
For Poker Run registration and route details, visit www.pokerrunsamerica.com or the Facebook events page at www.facebook.com/pokerrunsamerica.