Harley rally to add fireworks to Glenwood July 4 holiday
With flash and thunder, hundreds of motorcycles will rumble into Glenwood Springs this Independence Day for the first-ever Harley-Davidson Roaring Fork Independence Rally.
Plans for the July 4-6 rally, which will use the Glenwood Springs Community Center as its headquarters, are in their final stages.
According to rally organizer and Aspen Valley Harley-Davidson general manager Patrick Coggins, the idea behind the rally is to take advantage of the hundreds of Harley riders who descend on Aspen on Independence Day every year for riding and holiday festivities, and give them a place to gather downvalley.
“First of all, there’s 800 bikers up here anyway,” Coggins said. “We’re hoping the rally itself will have about 1,200 people.”
Unlike other rallies throughout the country, such as those in Sturgis, S.D., and the Four Corners rally in Ignacio, Colo., the Independence rally will focus more on riding than anything else, Coggins said.
“On the 5th, we have a lot of rides scheduled in groups,” he said.
Trip destinations include Steamboat Springs, Independence Pass, the Grand Mesa, Meeker, McClure Pass and others.
“So there’s all kinds of rides,” Coggins said.
Also, the first 74 people to register will get to take a ride to the Maroon Bells.
Then, on July 6, there will be a poker run, which is a game where the participants ride to a series of set locations and collect playing cards. The person with the best hand at the end wins. There are also plans on July 6 for a bike show and a concert at Two Rivers Park featuring rock band Molly Hatchet.
“We’re sending out the preregistration packets this week,” Coggins said.
The rally fee is $50, or $20 per day for single-day passes. Tickets will be sold separately for the concert.
The packets will be sent to Harley owners in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah this year. But that area could expand in coming years, as Coggins plans to make the rally an annual event.
Some of the proceeds collected from the rally fee, poker run and concert will be handed over to local causes such as Sopris Therapy Services and the fund-raising drive to build a swimming pool at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.
“Everything is a charitable event,” Coggins said.
For those who envision a rowdy bunch of Hell’s Angels rolling through town, flouting the law and stirring up trouble, Coggins said not to worry.
“I’ve got doctors, lawyers and physicists as customers,” he said. “Most riders are in their 40s and 50s and are professionals.
“Also, we’re not having camping out here.”
In fact, Coggins said, participants will be advised to get hotel reservations early.
The latest event will be held the night of July 4, but it will end when the fireworks are over.
“It will mean a tremendous amount of money for the economy,” he said. “The bikers come to Aspen. We just wanted to bring them downvalley to spend money here. It’s a culture – it (the Harley) is the only motorcycle that has a culture attached to it.”
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