WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WENY) -- The Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival is set to come back to the Southern Tier later this summer on September 6th. The announcement was made on Monday, March 11th, when race organizers announced that the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, which is the largest vintage racing organization in all of America, has agreed to help sponsor the festival this year. 

“In past years, our Festival ran adjacent to the early September Vintage races at the WGI track, but this year, a change in the NASCAR schedule put those races in August, and unfortunately, WGI won’t be partnering with us this year because of the change.” said Stacy Husted, president of Watkins Glen Promotions and chair of the Festival's management committee. 

Husted said that logistics are at the heart of the change, and why this year's festival will be when it is scheduled for. 

“Because we work with the Village, the State Park, and other groups to close streets and use parking areas for our Festival, we could not move our event date to the high-traffic season before Labor Day. We are really grateful to SVRA for bringing their members, cars, and drivers back to Watkins Glen to participate in our Festival,” said Husted.

This year's event will kick off with a special tech inspection recreation t at the original Smalley’s Garage. At the garage the vintage race will undergo a technical inspection similar to those performed during the original Grand Prix races. 

Racing culture runs deep in Watkins Glen, from 1948 to 1952, racers from around the world competed on a 6.6-mile road course through the village and  local hills. According to festival organizers, the United States Grand Prix events led to further racing activities in Watkins Glen, including those now run at NASCAR’s Watkins Glen International racetrack.

During the festival Franklin Street will be closed for most of the day.