City welcomes motorcycle rally: Downtown block party set for tonight
By Bryanna Allen
STAFF WRITER | August 29,2014
Anthony Edwards / Staff Photo
Motorcycle riders participating in the Killington Classic motorcycle rally are directed where to park in front of The Foundry restaurant in Killington on Thursday evening. Riders will spend the weekend touring the surrounding area and rallying into Downtown Rutland this evening for a celebration.
KILLINGTON — More than 800 motorcyclists will participate in the annual Killington Classic Motorcycle Rally today through Sunday.
Bikers from all over the country met Thursday night at The Foundry restaurant for the kickoff dinner and registration.
The event has taken place every fall since 2003 and is a way for bikers to explore Vermont. The weekend combines daily guided rides throughout the state with frequent visits to local restaurants and breweries. Each evening, the bikers will head back to the Killington area to enjoy food, local music and a weekend filled with motorcycle demonstrations and shows, including stunt shows, contests and scavenger hunts.
Rutland City will join the weekend fun by hosting a motorcycle parade and block party today.
Today’s parade is free and open to any biker who wants to participate, not just registered weekend bikers. Bikers will meet at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Killington Fire Department at the top of the access road. The hundreds of bikers will leave the fire department at 6 p.m. and make their way down the mountain into Rutland for the block party starting at 6:30 p.m.
“The party is a way to welcome the bikers to the community,” said Mike Coppinger, executive director of the Downtown Rutland Partnership board of directors.
The bikers will ride through downtown and ride under the American flag flying from ladder trucks of the Rutland City and Killington fire departments.
Center Street will be closed to motor traffic and restaurants will put tables out on the street while local band Satin and Steel plays from the parking pit at the intersection of Wales and Center streets.
The event has increased in size through the past decade and Tom Donahue, executive vice president of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce, said more than 1,600 people are expected to be in town Friday night and through the weekend because of the event.
“It’s a great way for locals to come out and for visitors to get to know our area,” Donahue said of the block party.
Donahue will ride in the parade, along with other city officials and law enforcement.
“It’s a great fall tradition,” Donahue said. “It’s good for the local economy and it’s just a really good time for all involved.”