ALPENA - Last year bikers in Northeast Michigan hosted the first Alpena Bike Fest as a way to raise money for the local soup kitchen. The event went over so well they have decided to have another this year.
Last year the weekend long events, which featured live entertainment, games, food and drink, brought in more than $2,000 and organizers are hopeful more can be raised this year.
This year's festival, sponsored by Budweiser, will take place at the show grounds on French Road July 31-Aug. 2 and have eight bands and a beer tent. All of the proceeds will go toward fighting hunger locally and to help fund the Toys for Kids program in Alpena.
Coordinator Rich Oliver said last year proved people supported the event and had a good time despite the weather not cooperating. He said this year's bike fest was pushed back later into the summer to increase the odds of warm and dry conditions.
"We did really well last year, even though it was cold and rainy. Everyone seemed to have a good time, though," Oliver said. "This is an event you don't have to have a bike for and you can just come out and enjoy some good music, play in a horseshoe or bean bag tournament and be a part of the fun."
Oliver said the bikers have been hosting Bike Night in Alpena for a while and it was because of the success of those that the festival was born. He said they wanted an event everyone could participate in and more importantly support good causes locally.
"We decided we wanted to create an event where we could raise money for a cause , so we put our heads together and thought of bike fest," Oliver said. "We decided on the soup kitchen and Toys for Kids because it would help conquer two things we believe are important. Helping kids and people who are going hungry."
The bands start on Thursday night a 5:30 p.m. when Tin Can Alley followed by Charlie and the Bourbons. On Friday, State the Odds, Lemon Frog and Bobbing for Piranhas will play. Eddie Ate Dynamite, Kopy Catz and Legacy take the stage on Saturday.
Oliver said there will be music that will appeal to most everyone and the dance floor should be a popular place all weekend long.
"If you look at the lineup there is a lot of classic rock, with pop and country sprinkled in," Oliver said. "There will be music most people know and enjoy and all of the bands are very talented and willing to help hunger and the kids as well."
The cost of the event is $5 per day, or $25 per couple for the entire three days. Oliver said there will be vendors set up and camping is available.
For more information call 810-300-2599, or follow the Alpena Bike Fest Facebook event page.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com.