MADISON, Ind. (WHAS11) – Fast boats hit the Ohio River this Fourth of July weekend at the annual Madison Regatta.

Thousands of people took to the Madison waterfront for a series of boat races that unofficially began as early as 1911 but didn’t hold an official race until 1929.

Regatta officials say the good weather this year is expected to have brought out more attendees than in previous years.

Many people who call or have called Madison home say they have the weekend circled on their calendars – many even traveling back from out of town annually to attend the Regatta.

“I’m getting older now but I used to walk – you couldn’t walk a block without talking to 5 or 6 – 10 people you know or you used to know. Old friends always come back. I just met some friends who I hadn’t seen in 10 years just a little while ago – just 10 minutes ago. It’s just great. Everybody comes back to the Madison Regatta. It’s cool,” Gary Horton, a Madison resident, said.

Those who have been attending the Regatta for decades say the atmosphere has become friendlier over time and that the weekend is a tradition they’re excited to pass onto future generations.