WARSAW — Hidden Lake, the home of the Lake City Skiers, is about to gain some national attention this weekend.
The ski team will host the USA Water Ski Division I National Show Ski Championships, beginning Friday, Aug. 9, and continuing through Sunday, Aug. 11, in what is expected to be the biggest event in the club’s history.
The top 14 teams in the nation, which consist of over 1,500 athletes, will compete in the 45th Indmar Division I Show Ski Championships for the national title.
Lake City Skiers are one of the competitors and were chosen to host the national championships after LCS Vice President Chuck McLaughlin and LCS team member Steve Hawblitzel went to Florida and made a pitch that included a written bid, a PowerPoint presentation and a video to the USA Water Ski Division I board of directors.
“This is the biggest tournament and the top division,” McLaughlin said. “This is a big thing for the community.”
The event, according to some organizers, is expected to attract upward of 12,000 people — enough that city officials asked the state to cease construction on North Detroit Street for a day on Friday to ease congestion for travelers.
“We’re excited,” said Matt Voss, a member of LCS for the past 15 years.
“It’s amazing to me because I never would have thought 15 years ago when I started with the ski team that this would happen,” Voss said.
According to the Kosciusko County Convention and Visitors Bureau, between 3,000 to 4,000 different visitors are expected in the area each day of the tournament. Each team brings their teammates, family, friends and fans.
“It’s pretty extraordinary,” said KCCVB CEO Jill Boggs. “Sports tourism is a big thing so we are all super excited about this.”
Individual competitions will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9
Team competitions will be held from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11.
Lake City Skiers are tentatively expected to perform around 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday.
According to McLaughlin, there are teams that are planning to attempt a final pyramid with more than 40 people.
Hidden Lake is located at 2455 Hidden Lake Drive in Warsaw. The event is free to the public. There is a $5 fee for parking, and handicap parking is available. A shuttle service will be available from the parking area to the event site.
Bleacher seating and covered seating is available or spectators may bring their own lawn chairs.
Concessions will be available at the show site.
A live webcast can viewed at https://www.usawaterski.org/live.html.