Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

11 Can’t Miss Boating Events At Lake of the Ozarks

March 14, 2019 by Michael Kiel

It’s time to get your calendars out and ready Lake of the Ozarks boaters! We have rounded up a preview of the Lake’s can’t miss 2019 events. There’s a long list of events for boaters all Summer long, but these are a few of our favorites. It’s time to get excited about boating season!

Spring Harbor Hop: Kick off the beginning of boating season at the 22nd Annual Spring Harbor Hop on May 4, 2019. This lake-wide event has over 40 bars and restaurants serving as checkpoints throughout the poker run. Check-in, draw your cards at any of the participating locations, and try to win the best and worst poker hands. It is a family-friendly event, so anyone can attend! Harbor Hops are sponsored by The Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau, Lake of the Ozarks Marine Dealers Association, and the Lakes Waterfront Restaurants. Check out our 5 tips for a safe and enjoyable Spring Harbor Hop here.

spring harbor hop lake of the ozarks
Photo Credit: Dog Days Bar & Grill

Memorial Day: Summer is right around the corner and it is normal to get the itch to start early. Memorial Day weekend is the perfect pre-summer weekend to enjoy at the Lake. Go out and enjoy boating, live music, and let’s not forget, the beginning of the REHYDRATE parties at the Lake!

Lake Race: Love powerboat racing? Don’t miss out on an action-packed five days full of powerboating and racing events! Located at Camden on the Lake (7 MM), you will find various family-friendly events including a meet and greet street party. Want to watch the races from the water? Drive your boat out and tie up with friends or other spectators. This newer race has gained significant support making it a can’t miss event. Activities begin May 30, 2019, and actual Lake Race day is June 1, 2019. 

lake race lake of the ozarks
Photo Credit: Brad Glidewell Photography

13th Annual White Party at Dog Day’s Bar & Grill: Break out your brightest of white outfits and party at the summer kick-off party held at Dog Day’s Bar & Grill (19 MM). Voted as Best Waterfront Restaurant Lake of the Ozarks, Best Entertainment, and Top 10 Water Bar in the Nation, you can rest assured you will have a great time! Enjoy drink specials and live music all night. The White Party at Dog Day’s will be held June 4, 2019.

4th of July: Celebrate Independence Day at Lake of the Ozarks! What is better than seeing firework celebrations all throughout the lake right from the water? Here you can enjoy family-friendly fun, boating, barbecues, and many firework shows located in surrounding areas. Check back for a list of the 2019 4th of July fireworks by water.

fourth of july lake of the ozarks
Photo Credit: Bombay Boat Rental

Aquapalooza: Sponsored by Lake of the Ozarks Marine Dealers, Aquapalooza is known as the Lake’s largest family-friendly event. Boat on over to Dog Day’s Bar and Grill to enjoy a day full of sun, live music visible from the water, vendors, and other activities. If you want to enjoy the music up close, we suggest getting there by 9 AM. Hang out in Dog Day’s pool, in the Lake, or on the dock. Fair warning though: dock slips go quick, so be sure to get on the waiting list if you are interested in reserving a spot! We’ll see you there on July 20, 2019. 

aquapalooza lake of the ozarks
Photo Credit: Sky View Photography

Shootout: According to Powerboat Magazine, Shootout at Lake of the Ozarks is one of the “must-see boating events” in the nation. It is the largest unsanctioned race in the United States with more than 100 racers and 100,000 spectators. Shootout raises funds for eight lake area rescue teams and many other charitable organizations. In the past decade, this event has raised over $1 million for these organizations. Come out to Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill (33 MM - 34.5 MM) to see powerboats topping out at speeds up to 200 MPH.

The race is not the only fun part of Shootout. Enjoy events all week leading up to the race including a poker run, strip party, vendor villages, and more. Let’s also not forget the welcome party held at Performance Boat Center. The 2019 Shootout takes place August 24-25, but all the events start August 21. For the full calendar of events check out the Shootout website

shootout lake of the ozarks

Super Cat Fest: Held at Camden on the Lake Resort, Super Cat Fest will feature some of the sexiest catamarans you’ve ever seen. This year will mark the ninth year the fest will be held in union with the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Enjoy cocktail parties, firework displays, cruising the lake, and meeting fellow powerboaters. The 2019 Super Cat Fest takes place from August 23-24, 2019.

super cat fest lake of the ozarks
Photo Credit: Brad Glidewell Photography

Labor Day: End your summer with a bang Labor Day weekend at Lake of the Ozarks. Just like 4th of July, you can see multiple firework displays throughout the area. In most cases, you don’t even need to leave your boat! Enjoy coving out or boating around the lake going to your favorite restaurants. Like music? Waterfront bars and restaurants on Labor Day weekend are typically booked solid with live bands. 

Fall Harbor Hop: Just because the summer is over, doesn’t mean fun at the Lake is. For the second time of the year, enjoy the Fall Harbor Hop with over 40 participating locations and try to win the best--or worst--hand. Again, this is a family-friendly event so everyone can get in the on the fun. See you on October 12, 2019! 

End of the Season Parties: The end of the season means last minute fun at many of the Lake’s bars and restaurants. Grab a hoodie or jacket if necessary and check out some of your favorite spots before they close down for the season. Most of the waterfront restaurants run half-off specials as a way of thanking their customers. Check back for updated information on end of season parties after Summer is over.

That completes our ultimate guide to some of the Lake’s can’t miss events. Get ready for a fun-filled boating season! Which events will you attend?  

Michael Kiel