At the Great Steamboat Race on the Ohio River.  Louisville.  April 30, 2003.  5:56 p.m. EDT.

Photographer's comments:
     For the last 41 years, steamboats have raced on the Ohio River at Louisville as part of festivities leading up to the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.  Usually, the racing steamboats have been the Belle of Louisville and the Delta Queen.  For the last two years, another boat, the Belle of Cincinnati, also has been in the race.  That's the Belle of Cincinnati in the photo above, seen from the top deck of the Belle of Louisville.
     I should point out here that the steamboat race is sort of, well, fixed.  None of the principals involved will admit it, but everyone else knows that it's really not a race at all.  It's more like a re-enactment of the authentic steamboat races of a century or more ago.  The Belle of Louisville and the Delta Queen have split the victories almost evenly, and the trophy for winning the race--a pair of gilded antlers--is mounted atop the winner's pilothouse for a year.  The newcomer Belle of Cincinnati has not yet won the race (and never will, in my opinion, for reasons I won't go into here).
Other photos of this subject:
     1) Here's a view of the smokestacks of the Belle of Louisville which, unlike the Belle of Cincinnati, is a genuine paddlewheel steam-powered riverboat.  
Links to more about this subject :
(Will open a new browser window)

1) This is the website of the Kentucky Derby Festival.
     In 1962, my father took one of my sisters and me to see the very first race between the stern-wheelers Delta Queen and the Belle of Louisville.  The Delta Queen, the bigger and more powerful boat, won handily.  But I thought the Belle's calliope sounded better.  
Posted April 30, 2003.