By Jeremy Pyle
We all came out to Montreux
On the Lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile
We didn’t have much time
– Ian Gillan, Deep Purple
“Smoke on the Water” (1972)
EL RENO – The 2023 Smoke on the Water drag boat races at Lake El Reno are officially in the books and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Festivities were dampened a bit Saturday morning, July 15 as a cold front blew in from the north around 11 a.m. as the event was about to kick off.
It caused for about a 30-minute weather delay as event organizers scurried to make sure all boaters and fans would be kept safe from wind and potential lightning.
It blew past just to the south of Lake El Reno and by 12:30 p.m. the event was underway.
Farmtruck from the TV show “Street Outlaws” & “Farmtruck & Azn” was on hand to hoist the American flag from the bed of his custom Farmtruck Pontoon boat while the national anthem was performed.
The first race of the day featured layers of mayors including former longtime El Reno Mayor Matt White racing against current El Reno Mayor Steve Jensen.
White celebrated his victory holding his hand high in true Ian Gillan fashion as he crossed the finish line.
Food trucks and vendors lined up on the roadways offering up fair-style foods and burgers for the patrons showing up to the event.
They gave many options from onion burgers or fried catfish to barbecue ribs or pulled pork sandwiches.
Attendance looked to be in the thousands and there was plenty of food without too long of lines.