Thousands of motorcyclists to rev through Maryville for rally this weekend
By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter
MARYVILLE (WATE) – Motorcycle enthusiasts from all walks of life will participate in the 2013 State H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) Rally.
The event is sponsored for Harley Davidson riders.
The nearly-week long event is being held in Maryville this year, and it’s something city officials are welcoming with open arms.
Harley riders are revving up all over Maryville, as the state’s annual Harley rally is calling Maryville home this year.
“We get to showcase East Tennessee to all the Harley riders and show them what an excellent place it is to ride, with all the winding roads and the mountains,” said James Stephens, a member of the East Tennessee Chapter of Harley Davidson.
The five-day event features rides, concerts, picnics, riding competitions and tours of local attractions.
The Harley Owners Group is comprised of more than 1 million people worldwide. Each state has its own rally.
Organizers say the goal is to showcase an area of the state many motorcyclists wouldn’t normally see.
“We’re going to Tellico Plains today, we’re going to Sevierville, the airport museum, and the Charles B Hall Museum in Tellico Plains,” biker Randy Hammons said.
The riders are expected to generate an estimated $4.5 million economic impact on the area.
The city of Maryville is hoping to show off its downtown, hosting a Thursday night kick-off event.
It will be the first city sponsored event to take advantage of a new ordinance that allows businesses that serve beer to allow customers to take it outside onto a portion of Broadway Avenue.
The recently passed ordinance will only apply for events the city sponsors or co-sponsors.
“We certainly appreciate these folks being in town and hope everyone will roll out their red carpet, and benefit from these guys being here,” said Jane Groff, community relations manager.
There are 2,000 riders already pre-registered, but organizers are expecting as much as 4,000, half of which will come from outside of Tennessee.
“We have a couple from Australia that is here,” said Hammons.
The event wraps-up Saturday night with a live concert at “The Shed.”
The Tennessee state H.O.G. ride will be held in Cookeville in 2014. In 2012, the event was also held in Cookeville.