It's HOG heaven in Williams as bike rally kicks off ThursdayJuly 19, 2011
WILLIAMS – Over 1,000 Harley’s will fill the streets of downtown Williams this weekend when the Arizona State Harley Owners Group (HOG) Rally gets under way Thursday.
The event is something of an annual event in Williams having been held for seven consecutive years beginning in 2000 before moving to Tucson for three years. The rally returned in 2010 with organizers opting to hold the event in Williams again this year.
Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce Event Coordinator Sue Atkinson said preparation for the event has been flawless.
“Everything has gone smoothly so far,” she said. “We know what needs to be done and we’re getting it all done.”
Atkinson said the city of Williams has been extremely supportive. City crews have graded the parking lot at the Williams Rodeo Grounds and the arena has been packed to facilitate the bike games scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
“It is like cement out there,” Atkinson said. “It’s crazy how hard that dirt packs.”
A mesh shade cover will be installed over the stands at the Rodeo Grounds as well.
“That’s a really big job,” Atkinson said. “These winds have not helped at all.”
Rally registration will take place at the Williams Recreation Center. Rose Newbold, city of Williams recreation director, has scheduled a barbecue event at Buckskinner Park Thursday and Friday from 12-5 p.m. for children who would normally use the rec center facilities while the HOG Rally is in town.
“All the kids are invited to make their way up to the park for games and a barbecue,” Atkinson said. “The whole staff is going to be up there.”
This year’s event features an exciting opportunity for both registered rally participants and the general public alike. All in attendance will have an opportunity to enter to win a one-of-a-kind piece of Arizona art and history – the Arizona Copper Chopper. The bike, built completely out of copper by Paul Yaffe, will be awarded to one lucky drawing winner the week of Feb. 14, 2012 at the Best Fest of Phoenix.
Tickets can be purchased for $5. Monthly finalists will be drawn for the Chopper and each of these monthly finalists will have the opportunity to be part of the final drawing.
The Arizona Centennial Copper Chopper motorcycle serves as an ambassador, or the “official mascot,” of the Centennial. Organized through the nonprofit Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation, the Copper Chopper is traveling the state for 17 months, from Oct. 2010 until Feb. 2012, promoting Arizona’s 100th anniversary of Statehood, motorcycle safety, and Arizona history.
The bike will be available for viewing in the city parking lot all weekend.
The rally kicks off with a welcome barbecue held Thursday evening hosted by Northern Arizona regional dealer, Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson Buell dealership in Bellemont.
Event registration will take place at the skate park with half of the Visitors Center parking lot used for bike parking. Close to 30 vendors will occupy the city parking lot across from the Chamber.
Saturday’s bike games from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Williams Rodeo Grounds are only open to Harley Owners Group members.
Country-rock band Mogollon will take center stage Friday and Saturday at this years street dance held on Third Street between Route 66 and Grant Avenue. The Cellphone Cowboys and Carpino and the Cappuccinos are scheduled to entertain the crowd as well.
There will be no cover to attend the dance and performances throughout the weekend and the dance is open to local residents along with HOG Rally participants. The dance will take place both Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
There will be pool tables in the street and free shuttles back and forth from the dance to hotels all weekend long, allowing partygoers more freedom and flexibility to enjoy all Williams has to offer, safely.
For more information on the 2011 Arizona State HOG Rally or other events in Williams contact the Williams & Forest Service Visitor Center at (800) 863-0546 or visit www.ExperienceWilliams.com.
For a complete schedule of HOG Rally events, visit www.azstatehogrally.com.