This year’s rally is the 94th Anniversary and will be held from June 10th-18th, 2017. Laconia Motorcycle Week began as a gypsy tour in 1916 and sanctioned racing events officially began in 1938. Fun fact, the rally isn’t considered an ‘Annual’ event because it wasn’t held 7 times due to national and world events such as the Great Depression, WWII and other overwhelming events. This would explain how Laconia Motorcycle Week is only celebrating its 94th anniversary, or why some mistakenly believe the Rally began in 1923.
A highlight of the rally reported last week by Clutch and Chrome, Harley-Davidson are planning on attending in a big way. For the first time in years, all Harley-Davidson exhibits, events and free demo rides on new Harley-Davidson motorcycles will be conveniently located directly across the street from the entrance to the drive-in across from the Weirs Beach landmark sign on Endicott Street North.
Back for its second year, ‘We Love Laconia Motorcycle Week Ride (AKA We Love Laconia Ride)’ will set out on Thursday, June 15th from Rally Headquarters right on Lakeside Avenue in Weirs Beach.
The ride was started last year after numerous Motorcycle Week attendees asked the Motorcycle Week Association how they could best support the Rally and ensure the event continued and prospered. Numerous local people, businesses and sponsors decided to organize a fundraiser ride to help fund Motorcycle Week’s marketing efforts.
The ride led motorcyclists through the less travelled western side of New Hampshire, renowned for its rural beauty and quaint towns, culminating in a stop at scenic Profile Falls in Bristol. Laconia Mayor, Ed Engler and Charlie St. Clair, Executive Director of Laconia Motorcycle Week Association led the ride, as did the all-female Iron Lilies Motorcycle group out of Florida. Riders returned to the Laconia Roadhouse for VIP parking, catered lunch, live music, entertainment and a gift bag packed with an exclusive We Love MC Week Ride shirt and other donated swag. As originally intended, all proceeds from ticket sales go back to Laconia Motorcycle Week Association for promotional purposes.
“The ride attracted over 200 people and was such a success last year that we decided to make it an annual event,” explains Jennifer Anderson, Deputy Director. “It’s our way to create a legacy fund to help ensure sustainability for the oldest rally in the country.”
This year, the ride leaves from Rally Headquarters on Lakeside Avenue in Weirs Beach at 9:30am and returns to the Laconia Roadhouse at approximately 11:30am for lunch and entertainment. Entry fee is $50 ($25/passenger) and includes catered lunch, VIP parking at the Roadhouse, custom We Love Laconia Ride t-shirt and patch, swag bag and merchant discounts.
Whether joining the official ride or not, attendees should head for Weirs Beach, within the City of Laconia, which the ‘ground zero’ area of the rally and where a majority, though not all, vendors and entertainment is located. Daily Gypsy Tours, or guided motorcycle scenic rides also leave from Rally Headquarters, located right in Weirs Beach on Lakeside Ave.