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Watkins Glen Wedding Resources (more information)

Watkins Glen Speedway
The fame of Watkins Glen

Located on the southern tip of Seneca Lake, one of western New York's deep, glacial Finger Lakes, Watkins Glen is the site of scenic Watkins Glen State Park, but is probably best known for its role in auto racing, being the home of a street course used in road racing, a famous racetrack, Watkins Glen International and a historic race, the Watkins Glen Grand Prix. The racetrack was also the scene of the 1973 Summer Jam at Watkins Glen rock festival attended by an estimated 600,000 people.

Watkins Glen is also the home of the International Motor Racing Research Center, an annex to the village library

Auto racing at Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen is home to Watkins Glen International, one of the premier road racing tracks in the United States. The first Watkins Glen Sports Car Grand Prix, however, was held in 1948 on public streets in and near the village. Organized by local resident Cameron Argetsinger, it was the first post-WWII road race held in the United States and it marked the revival of American road racing.

The original course ran for 6.6 miles and passed through the center of the village. The streets used for the original course remain intact today and a checkered flag marks the original start-finish line on the village's main street.

A permanent racing facility, the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course opened in 1956. For fifty years, it has hosted nearly every type of road racing, from the Formula One, to one of the few races in the NASCAR series not conducted on an oval circuit.


The village was incorporated in 1842 as "Jefferson." The current name was adopted in 1852, after Dr. Samuel Watkins, the founder of the community. The first settlement of European peoples in the area began circa 1800. Watkins Glen was the northern terminus of the Chemung Canal, connecting Seneca Lake to the Chemung River. Catherine Creek, flowing into the lake through the village, was used to help create the canal.

Points of Interest

Watkins Glen International Speedway


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