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Safety a top concern for officials at Great Lakes Grand Prix

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind.-- This year will be the fifth annual Great Lakes Grand Prix boat race in Michigan City and every year it attracts tens of thousands of people. For event organizers, that means all hands on deck.

It's Michigan City's biggest chance to shine all year according to Mayor Ron Meer.

“It’s an extremely important event for Michigan City, it’s our fifth annual, it’s getting bigger every year,” Meer said.
 
Thousands of folks head into town for what some call "NASCAR on water." With nearly 100,000 people, safety is a big concern for city officials.

“We have all of our lifeguards out onto the beach. We have a staff of 15. We will man our main lifeguard tower and our chairs, and we’ll also provide walking and riding patrols,” Michigan City Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jan Orlich said.
 
Orlich said it's an event her lifeguards are well-prepared for.
 
“We just held our fireworks celebration and that was a huge event as well, so our lifeguards are pretty knowledgeable in handling larger events and they have support staff that also help them out,” Orlich said.
 
That support staff includes emergency workers from all over LaPorte County.
 
“Our whole county team from Emergency Management will be here with our command center here. Of course, Michigan City Police, LaPorte County Police, our fire departments,” Meer said.
 
Orlich said the biggest problem they run into each year is parents getting separated from their children near the water. If you do come out to the races with your kids, she advises you to keep a close eye on them in the large crowds.

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