HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — After a two-year hiatus, the Hampton Bay Days event is set to return, but with changes.
This year, instead of being in downtown Hampton for three days, it will be at the newly re-opened Langley Speedway for only two days.
Hampton Bay Days also has a new name. The event, which is scheduled for Sept. 9 and Sept. 10 will now be called Racing to Save the Bay.
Bay Days was a popular festival that had a more than 30-year run.
“We are driven to have a family friendly festival to help promote saving the bay,” Bay Days Organizer Chuck Leavines told 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings.
Thousands of people once packed downtown Hampton each year for Bay Days until it abruptly stopped two years ago after the city said it would cut funding in 2016.
“We needed to stay viable in our event and unfortunately the only way to do that was to cancel the event at the time,” Leavines said.
What a difference time makes. Leavines told Cummings the foundation that spearheads this event had to re-invent Bay Days for a fresh look.
“We’re ecstatic to be back,” he said. “We were kind of at our last straw basically and Langley opened back up… It seemed like it fit so we decided we’d get together and see if we could pull this off.”
The new event will have some of the same things festival goers grew to enjoy like carnival rides, live bands, arts and crafts, a bay education area and don’t forget about the food.
“There will be more food than probably are used to. We’ll bring in some food trucks. We’re going to try some new things. We’re working on a car show that we want to bring back to the event,” Leavines said.
Leavines told Cummings they’re expecting 30,000 people to attend.
Parking is free this year, but there’s a cost to get in: $10 for adults, $5 for children.
There won’t be any racing, but Leavines said there are plans to have race cars and drivers on the track.
“It’s a new event. This is the first year we’re going to have it but we’re excited,” he said.
Leavines told Cummings this year they are not getting money from the city.
Racing to Save the Bay is set for September 9 and 10. Click here for more information.