Lake Norman will be bustling with activity July 30 to Aug. 1 with the 7th annual raft-up and family fun day at Queenâ€™s Landing.
This yearâ€™s sponsor for the two-day event is Hellmannâ€™s Mayonnaise and hence the event has been titled â€œThe Hellmannâ€™s Lake Norman Funfest 2004.â€
This year promises to be better than ever because of the expanded events.
The fun kicks off Friday evening with a party at Midtown Sundries in Cornelius, then events heat up on the lake on Saturday with the raft-up.
It will kick off at noon and run until 4 p.m. at Marker T-5, near I-77 and the North Harbor Club.
The goal is to attempt to beat the 944 boats who tied together in a continuous line last year and made the Guinness World Record.
This yearâ€™s goal is for 1000 boats to raft up.
Mickey Nutting, event planner said this year a challenge has been given by Lake St. Clair in Michigan, who are also planning to raft-up on Aug. 7 in an attempt to break Lake Normanâ€™s record.
Many changes have also taken place this year in order to make the raft-up better than ever.
More concrete mooring blocks will be installed at the T-5 marker area and the town of Cornelius, Iredell and Mecklenburg counties will be on site with patrol boats.
This year, event planners have designated 11 area locations where participants can pre-register up to one week prior to the event. That way boaters can join the raft-up line as soon as they arrive at the event.
The dates to register include, July 24-25 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and July 31, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Locations include, Rusty Rudder/Holiday Marina in Cornelius, Queenâ€™s Landing in Mooresville, Lake Norman Marine in Denver, River City Marina in Mooresville and Westport Dry Storage & Marina in Denver.
For those unable to pre-register, on-water registration will still be provided the day of the event.
The raft-up is not the only event looking to make a Guinness World Record.
Sundayâ€™s family fun will kick-off at noon and run until 9 p.m. The event will feature Billy Rossini, a hydrofoil pro who is scheduled to set the first official Guinness World record for a hydrofoil jump. His goal is to set the record jump at 35 feet.
â€œWe are going to try and bring this event to the raft-up every year,â€ Nutting said.
Moon â€œCatawba Catfishâ€ Huffstetler will set a Lake Norman record for water treading.
Also on Sunday the family fun day at Queenâ€™s Landing will include, live music, water ski exhibitions, and a shag contest. The Red Cross will be there with face painting for the kids, there will be safety demonstrations and also a drawing for a 2004 Corvette.
A portion of the money on Sunday will go to the American Red Cross and the Marine Commission.
The end of the weekend will finish off with a fireworks show which will begin at 9 p.m.
Event Manager Mickey Nutting said they have been planning on expanding the raft-up for quite some time.
â€œWe had a lot of requests from families with no boats,â€ said Nutting. â€œThey wanted to participate but couldnâ€™t.â€
The family fun day will allow people who do not have boats to participate in some fun lake activities.
All proceeds for the event will got to the Lake Norman Marine Commission. Over $26,000 has been donated over the past four years.
Event organizers are looking for volunteers to help with on water operations. Interested jet ski riders should contact Jeff Kline at 704-779-7694 or Andrew Calhoun at 704-408-0069. by Amy Wadsworth