Boji Bike Rally includes chrome horses, X Games gold

The third-annual Boji Bike Rally will once again draw riders to Arnolds Park and the Iowa Great Lakes. Events take place from Friday, Aug. 18 to Monday, Aug. 21.

Photo by Dave Petrick

Music meets motorcycles in what has become an August tradition in the Iowa Great Lakes.

The third-annual Boji Bike Rally begins Friday with a full schedule of events including demonstration rides, live music and plant tours. Motorcyclists attending the rally will have the opportunity to visit Indian Motorcycle’s Spirit Lake Experience Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 18-19. The motorcycle assembly facility will be open for complementary tours until November 2017 and will re-open in 2018.

Preservation Plaza is the site a large number of events Friday and Saturday. A vendor fair starts at 10 a.m each day. Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber Events Coordinator Kara Matheson promises a few extra bells and whistles.

“This we thought it was time for us to expand the event a bit,” she said. “In previous years the main focus has been the vendor fair. This year, we’re going to have additional games and contests throughout the afternoon. We’re going to have a bike show. We’re really just trying to beef up the schedule a little bit and keep people around the area.”

Pro motorcycle racer Jared Mees is scheduled to be at Preservation Plaza from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18 and Saturday, Aug. 19. He is a 2016 X Games gold medalist, four-time grand national champion, and two-time Troy Bayliss Classic winner. Mees will be just a few miles away from where his sponsoring brand is made: He joined the Indian Motorcycle Racing Team as a test rider in 2016. He took on a full season of competition in 2017.

The company’s agreement with Mees marked Indian’s re-entry into the American Motorcycle Association Pro Flat Track series. It was the brand’s first full-factory racing effort since the 1950s, according to information at the rider’s officials website.

“I can’t express how excited I am to be the guy to bring Indian Motorcycle back into the forefront of AMA Pro competition,” Mees said as part of his 2016 announcement.

Mees races with a “proprietary liquid-cooled” 750cc four-valve V-Twin competition engine specifically designed for flat track racing.

“We are very excited to return to the AMA Circuit,” Indian Motorcycle President Steve Menneto said in June 2016. “We have established the new Indian Chief and Scout series as the cornerstones of our production line-up, and now is the time for us to return to racing in a big way. We know that fans of Indian Motorcycle have been anticipating this announcement and can’t wait to see Indian Racing back in action.”

Mees comes to Arnolds Park after picking up a win Aug. 8 at the Harley-Davidson Black Hills Half-Mile. He finished first at the Calistoga Half-Mile in Northern California and won a silver medal in flat track at the most recent X Games in Minneapolis.

Boji Bay’s Legacy Park in Milford will host some Grammy-nominated multi-platinum recording artists as part of the Boji Bike Rally. Great White will be joined by Bad Authority for a 6 p.m. concert Friday on one of the largest stages in the Upper Midwest.

Best known for their Grammy nominated Best Hard Rock Performance hit, “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” Great White has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, has six Top 100 Billboard hits and nine Top 200 Billboard albums.

Bad Authority hails from Carroll and was founded in the summer of 2012 by guitarist Kyler Brinker, drummer Ted Ramaekers and bassist Miles Millard. The band originally performed as Black Diamond, but changed the name to Bad Authority in February of 2015. The band was recognized as Iowa’s best band under the age of 21 in 2014, and was honored at the Iowa Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame’s Induction Ceremony at the Sami Bedell Center for Performing Arts in Spirit Lake. Band members say they are influenced by artists including KISS, Led Zeppelin, Dokken, Iron Maiden and Mötley Crüe.

Okoboji Harley-Davidson will be the site for a a pair of events at the Boji Bike Rally. Registration is from 9-11 a.m. Saturday for the Rally4Veterans motorcycle run. The touring ride leaves Okoboji Harley-Davidson at 11 a.m. Stops are Haggy’s in Royal, The Wagon Wheel in Sioux Rapids, Rally Point in Laurens and Lindy’s Steakhouse in Dickens. The run ends at The Ritz in Arnolds Park. First card is drawn at 4 p.m. with the last card drawn at 6 p.m.

The $ 20 entry fee benefits Rally4Veterans, a nonprofit organization with an emphasis on helping local veterans. All proceeds raised from the 2017 poker run will be divided among six different honor flights in the area.

First, second and third-place prizes will be awarded. Riders and guests are invited to stay for the band “Sweet Trouble” starting at 7 p.m.

Rally visitors can find music at the Preservation Plaza stage as well. The free Saturday concert features the Ron Keel Band staring at 7:30 p.m. in Arnolds Park. The band is known for covering Southern rock classics like “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” The group just came out with a new single called “Homesick.”

Listen for the sound of motorcycles Sunday morning as well: Doors open at 9 a.m. for Chaplin’s “Brunch & Bloodys” Poker Run. Kick stands go up at 11 a.m. with poker hands dealt at 5 p.m. Registration is $ 10 and all proceeds go back to the top three riders. The winner gets 50 percent of the pool. Second place goes home with 30 percent and third place leaves with 20 percent. The brunch buffet and bloody mary are $ 12.

“Most of them stay overnight into Sunday, so we wanted to give them the opportunity to pop over to one of our sponsors — which is Chaplin’s — and spend Sunday morning there before heading out of town,” Matheson said.

The Ritz is also hosting a charity Grotto Motorcycle Run from 12:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20. RSVPs are requested for the fun ride to West Bend and back. The $ 20 entry fee benefits Iowa Great Lakes families whose lives have been impacted by cancer.

There’s one more chance to extend the weekend, because Mother Nature will turn out the lights.

Okoboji Harley-Davidson will be the site for the final Boji Bike Rally event — a “Solar Eclipse Viewing Party” starting at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 21. The business is marking the phenomenon with a free lunch and special viewing glasses. The eclipse will be at its peak at about 1:05 p.m.

“There are bike rallies across the county, all year round and especially all summer long,” Matheson said. “Something we hear from the attendees and vendors is that this is such a special place in northwest Iowa. The view is great and it is right by the lake. It’s a lot of fun for both these bikers who attend all of the rallies and families who are in town for the weekend visiting.”


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS


FRIDAY, AUG. 18

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Polaris Plant Tours in Spirit Lake

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. — Vendor Fair: Merchandise, Music, Food, Beer at Preservation Plaza

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Demo Rides at Preservation Plaza

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Meet and Greet with Jared Mees at Preservation Plaza

3 p.m. to 2 a.m. — Chaplin’s (with live entertainment TBA) in Arnolds Park

6-10 p.m. — Great White & Bad Authority Concert at Boji Bay in Milford

9 p.m. to 2 a.m. — Royce Johns at Beer Can Alley in Arnolds Park


SATURDAY, AUG. 18

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Polaris Plant Tours in Spirit Lake

10 a.m. to 10 p.m. — Vendor Fair: Merchandise, Music, Food, Beer at Preservation Plaza

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Demo Rides at Preservation Plaza

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Meet and Greet with Jared Mees at Preservation Plaza

10 a.m. to noon — Rally4Veterans Benefit Ride at Okoboji Harley-Davidson

10-11 a.m. — Bike Show Registration

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Bike Show at Preservation Plaza

1-1:30 p.m. — Catch or Splash at Preservation Plaza

1:30-2:30 p.m. — Games, Contests, Prizes at Preservation Plaza

3 p.m. to 2 a.m. — Chaplin’s (with live entertainment TBA) in Arnolds Park

7:30-10 p.m. — Ron Keel Band Concert at Arnolds Park

9 p.m. to 2 a.m. — Royce Johns at Beer Can Alley in Arnolds Park


SUNDAY, AUG. 20

9 a.m. to noon — Brunch & Bloody’s Poker Run at Chaplin’s in Arnolds Park


MONDAY, AUG. 21

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — Blackout Bask: Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at Okoboji Harley-Davidson

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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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