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“River City Rumble” gets its engines going

If you happened to be near the Demopolis City Landing Wednesday morning just after 10:30, no, that wasn’t a motorcycle on three cups of black coffee you heard. It was the sound of the third annual River City Rumble speed boat drag races roaring their way back into Demopolis.

The Rumble, which will be held at the City Landing July 16 and 17 beginning at noon each day, is hoping for a boost from a television commercial filmed Wednesday morning by a crew from WTOK Channel 11 in Meridian. The crew came by to film Demopolis’s J.R. Suttles’ “Wild Hair” racing boat in action. Suttles, who will be taking part in the Rumble, took the boat back and forth across the future drag course at high speeds–and high decibel levels–while the cameras rolled.

Channel 11 will air the commercial over the next three weeks in support of the event. Kelley Smith of the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce says the publicity makes it even more likely that the event will continue to grow.

“We had five hundred more people last year than the first year,” she said, “so we’re hoping to grow by another five hundred people this year, from 2000 to 2500.”

Smith was cautiously optimistic, though, that with Meridian’s racing event cancelled and in increase in publicity, that number could rise beyond even the 2500 estimate. The number of boats entering the competition is expected to jump from 75 to a full 100 boats, she said.

The “Rumble” is sponsored and organized by the Outdoor Drag Boat Association. Admission will be $7 for adults and $4 for children. Spectators are also invited to the “Test and Tune” on Friday, July 15 at noon. For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 334-289-0270.