The Boyne Thunder powerboat event returns to Northern Michigan July 12-13
The Boyne Thunder powerboat event returns to Northern Michigan July 12-13

BOYNE CITY – The Boyne Thunder powerboats will thunder across Lake Charlevoix this weekend, July 12 and 13.

This popular event, which draws thousands of spectators to Northern Michigan, begins in Boyne City and stretches 150 miles through Charlevoix, Elk Rapids, Northport, Harbor Springs and Bay Harbor.

Boyne Thunder is a powerboat poker race hosted by Boyne City Main Street that offers participating enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the Northern Michigan scenery and spectators to watch the colorful boats fly through the water. In addition to the race, there is also a Friday night street show in Boyne City over the weekend.

More: PHOTOS: Boyne Thunder 2023

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With 120 boats registered this year, spots for Boyne Thunder always sell out quickly, according to Ingrid Day, director of Boyne City Main Street. The event runs from noon Friday to noon Sunday, but boats will begin arriving at Boyne City marinas as early as Wednesday, Day said. They are scheduled to sail through Round Lake and the Pine River Channel in Charlevoix on Saturday morning, July 13.

“It’s really wonderful to be a part of this beautiful event, but I think it’s important to remember that this is about the charities,” Day said. “We’re proud to showcase our community and know that we’re making a difference.”

Sixty-five percent of proceeds go to local charities such as Camp Quality and Challenge Mountain, averaging $150,000 per year. Camp Quality Michigan supports children with cancer and their families by providing free programs, experiences and support year-round. Challenge Mountain offers a wide range of life-enriching recreational, cultural and social opportunities for children, youth and adults with disabilities.

Day also emphasized the importance of the event to Boyne City and other northern Michigan communities, citing its role in attracting tourists and promoting local businesses.

“We love what this event does for our city and it’s a lot of fun to watch,” she said.

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the event and Day noted that the 11-strong organising group worked even harder in the two weeks following Boyne Thunder to ensure funds could be distributed in September.

“We do this for the charities and for Boyne City, but ultimately it’s also about Northern Michigan,” Day said.

For more information, contact Ingrid Day at (231) 582-9009 or visit

— Contact reporter Annie Doyle at (231) 675-0099 and [email protected]

By Isla