Bike fest to raise funds for Friendship Room
ALPENA – A group of organizers behind a bike night at an Alpena bar have organized the first Alpena Bike Fest, with proceeds going to a local soup kitchen.
Registration for the event starts at 12 p.m. on May 17, organizer Rich Oliver said. Over three days, there will be motorcycle rides and games, vendors, rustic camping, raffles and live music. It’s set to take place at the Alpena Antique Tractor & Steam Engine Club show grounds, 6850 French Rd., and will go on rain or shine. All proceeds will go to the St. Bernard’s Friendship Room.
Oliver and other organizers will get help from a few local businesses, he said. Tim LaFleche of GT Sounds will provide sound for the festival, and Jim Johnson of Huron Distributors has helped to make the event a reality. Under the Gun Tattoos is set to be one of the vendors, with others selling motorcycle accessories for the bike and rider.
Oliver and others are hoping to turn the bike fest into an annual event, he said.
“Next year, we’re going to probably pick a different date,” he said. “We’re shooting for a weekend after Father’s Day, something where it’s a little bit warmer.”
Admission is $5 per person, per day, or $20 per couple for the weekend.
Events for the first day include awarding a motorcycle “Best in Show,” with bands Eddie Ate Dynamite and Human Wreckage playing that night, Oliver said. Bikers will get an early start on May 18, when they’ll hit the road at 7:30 a.m. to get to a breakfast buffet at the Black Sheep. At 9:30 a.m., they’ll head to Hillman for a blessing of the bikes, and by 1 p.m. they’ll return to the show grounds for the start of bike games.
On May 18, Bobbing for Piranhas and The Legacy will perform.
On the last day, bikers will take a ride around Alpena at around 12 p.m., then head to Joe’s Bar for another 50-50 drawing, Oliver said.
Randy Buchner, another organizer, said the event started out as the first bike night of the year, then grew into something bigger. Everyone age 21 and up is welcome, even if they don’t have a motorcycle.
“It’s something we thought we could do for the community, something we’d like to do for the soup kitchen,” he said.
Buchner, Oliver and others wanted to have a bike night, but wanted to have a reason to do it, Oliver said. They decided on giving whatever they raised to the Friendship Room because they believe it’s a good cause.
“We enjoy what we do, and we enjoy what we do it for,” he said. “It’s a good feeling to be able to feed people. Nobody should ever go hungry.”
For more information on Bike Fest, call Buchner at 614-1463, Oliver at 810-300-2599, or visit the website, www.facebook.com/AlpenasBikeNight.