More than 1,300 people will ride into Sault Ste. Marie this Thursday for the Great Lakes HOG Rally, a motorcycle-lover’s dream organized by the Harley Owners Group (HOG).
HOG is the largest factory-sponsored motor club in the world, with U.S. membership approaching one million riders. Individual HOG chapters exist all over the county, but this week’s event will mark the first time a group of states will combine rallies right here in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.
While some rally activities are offered exclusively to registered attendees, the public will have the opportunity to join in the fun at several points in the three-day schedule.
Thursday through Saturday, anyone with a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license is invited to come test drive one of a number of motorcycles available for demo from Harley-Davidson. Come drive the newest models in the fleet, free of charge, from 9am-5 p.m. each day at Kewadin Casino, Hotel & Convention Center.
Beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, the corner of Ashmun St. and Portage Ave. will be rocking with the sounds of 80s music while community members and rally attendees mix and mingle and enjoy food truck fare. At 5:30 p.m. and again at 10:15 p.m., watch for the 1 Wheel Revolution Stunt Show on Ashmun Street in front of the Farmer’s Market area. These free shows each last 30 minutes.
On Saturday at 3 p.m., hundreds of motorcycles will ride through Sault Ste. Marie as part of the event’s International Parade of Flags. They will leave from Kewadin taking Shunk Road to East Spruce and then cut over to Portage Avenue using Ord Street. The parade will continue down Portage, turn left on Ashmun Street, and proceed to Easterday Avenue, where it will proceed west to W. Portage Avenue and head back to the downtown, where a block party will await them on Portage between Ashmun and Osborn Blvd. The block party will feature live music and run from 4-6 p.m..
Organizer Scott Rhuland and his team have worked extensively with the Sault Ste. Marie Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and Kewadin to plan the three-day rally.
Linda Hoath, Executive Director of the Sault CVB, invited area residents to participate and enjoy the various public events while they rally attendees some U.P. hospitality.
“We have beautiful drives in this area, which will be awesome for riders, but I’m sure they will also go home remembering the warm, friendly people they met in Sault Ste. Marie,” she said.
Registered HOG Rally attendees will partake in a variety of festivities during the event, including planned rides on the EUP’s more scenic roads to special destinations during the day, followed by nightly entertainment.
For more information about the Great Lakes HOG Rally, visit saultstemarie.com or call 800-647-2858.