Speed boats parade through downtown Sarasota

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- Thousands of people lined Main Street in Sarasota to get a sneak-peek of some of the speed boats racing Sunday off Lido Key.

Coral Warren moved from her hometown of Sarasota ten years ago to Oklahoma, but tries to come back as often as she can to see the races.

"It was my favorite thing growing up here, I loved it, " Warren recalls.

Of the 40 boats taking part this weekend, about 30 got here early enough to be in the parade. One of the racers who loves coming here each year is Scott Begovich, the throttle-man on the "Miss Geico" boat.

"The people of Sarasota, every year plan their 4th of July weekend around this event. I mean, look at the people, they make you feel at home, it's just a wonderful atmosphere for racers," Begovich said.

Begovich says from a professional stand-point, this is the biggest race of the year for his industry.

"Sarasota is just like in Indy Car, you've got the Indy 500 and all the other races. Sarasota is our Indy 500,it's just special," he said.

It's special, and Coral Warren agrees.

"I'm loving the parade, it's awesome to see all the boats, happy people. I love it," she said.

Friday night, fireworks on the Sarasota bayfront are scheduled for 9pm, a series of events on Saturday and the big races Sunday at 11am and 1pm off Lido Key. All proceeds benefit Suncoast Charities for Children.