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Inaugural Riverwalk Regatta takes over Manatee County

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BRADENTON, Fla. – It was a first of its kind event for Manatee County on Saturday.

An estimated 100,000 people packed into the cities of Bradenton and Palmetto trying to get a good view of the Manatee River for the inaugural Riverwalk Powerboat Regatta.

“I've lived here since 1988 and this is probably one of the biggest events in all of those years,” said Bradenton resident Doug Larsson.

And this event isn't just about the powerboat races. There are also hydrocross jet skis, concerts and so much more.

"In between you have things like extreme pogo shows, BMX stunt shows, a complete kid zone, Frisbee, dog shows,” explained event organizer Michael Dongilli. “There is just about something for everybody in every age group."

The crowd was so large that the Green Bridge was shut down to accommodate all of the spectators wanting a good vantage point.

In the crowd was Michael Konosky, who brought his friend from North Carolina to enjoy the races.

"The whole thing is just very well put together, and this is a real plus for the town of Bradenton, and Manatee County," Konosky said.

With an estimated 100,000 people in attendance, organizers expect quite an economic boost for Bradenton and Palmetto.

"The early estimates are anywhere from maybe 8 to 10 million dollars, and that's probably very conservative at this point,” Dongilli told ABC 7 on Saturday.

The first ever Bradenton Riverwalk Regatta is the start of a tradition organizers are hoping will continue for years to come.