Seven musical acts opened the Rockers Riders & Ribs festival Friday night at the Roughneck Harley-Davidson/Lone Star Ice House/Electric Cowboy Kickoff Party.
The kickoff to the second annual event presented by the News-Journal drew a crowd of 2,000, organizers said. Meanwhile, crews and vendors worked to set up stages and more for today’s activities in downtown Longview.
The event drew more than 10,000 attendees in 2016 and has added almost twice as many vendors this year.
Today’s events begin with an 8:30 a.m. ride for motorcyclists from the Lone Star Ice House/Electric Cowboy on McCann Road to Jefferson, where they will enjoy brunch and activities.
Gates downtown will open at noon today, and the daylong festival will last until midnight.
Bikers will parade into downtown Longview for a day of music, food and entertainment. Festivities include a car and truck show sponsored by ABC Auto Parts; the Scooter Shed Rib Run that features $ 1,000 in prizes; and Torch’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Inferno featuring Heather Spitfire performing fire tricks.
Harley-Davidson is bringing its demo truck to the festival, allowing attendees to take demo rides on their bikes.
The Lucky 7 Custom Cycles Bike Show and Soundoff contest will dole out more than $ 5,000 in cash and prizes.
“It’s a sanctioned event featuring some of the best custom bikes in Texas and some of the biggest motorcycle stereos that you’d ever want to hear,” said Larry Jobe, event coordinator for the festival and advertising director of the Longview News-Journal.
The Kids Zone will feature a slew of children’s activities, including multiple bounce houses.
Today’s musical lineup includes White Trash Wannabees, Hootz, Brandon Giles, Louisiana Swamp Donky, Lance Lopez, Kentucky Headhunters, Edgar Winter and headliner Foghat.
General admission is $ 20 at the gate.
Numerous downtown road closures also will last through tonight.
Closures include Hoover Street from Fredonia to Green streets; East Methvin Street from Fredonia to Second streets; East Bank Street from Fredonia to First streets; Green Street from East Whaley to East Tyler streets; and First Street from East Whaley to East Tyler streets. The intersection of East Tyler Street and First Street only will be open for festival vendors.
Festival entrances are planned at Green and East Tyler streets; East Whaley and Green streets; and East Whaley and First streets. Motorcycle parking is slated at the Texas Bank and Trust’s parking lots between East Whaley and East Methvin streets.
For information about the festival, visit www.rockersridersribs.com.