The 3rd Annual Roar on the Shore bike rally in Erie, Pennsylvania was held July 16-18. Erie is the state’s 4th largest city and sits proudly on the shores of the beautiful Lake Erie.
It is hard to imagine that this event has been in existence for only three years. The Manufacturer and Business Association, the event promoter, along with the city of Erie, does everything right. The entertainment, food, vendors, celebrities and the activities all come together to make this the event to watch; and when you think that it is all done in support of a local charity, it makes it all the sweeter! This year’s proceeds benefit Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans and their families.
To kick it off, Bret Michaels led the Bringin’ in the Roar Parade. Bret, lead singer of the band “Poison” and star of the reality dating show “Rock of Love” rode his bike through the streets of Erie followed by a parade of bikers on every conceivable type of motorcycle.
Prior to the parade, there was a raffle to see who would ride with Bret, and after the parade there was an autograph session at Sluggers Sports Bar. Geeze…a billiard room, 45 TV screens, outrageous food and Bret Michaels too!
There was a huge stage set up in the street for the bands, and their sounds echoed throughout the city. There were bands from Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, including 60 Inch Slick, Bareback Jack, Rattlebox, Next of Kin, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Chrome and many more.
Zoso, the Led Zeppelin tribute band, was awesome and the crowd exploded to the sound of Warrant on Saturday night. It was really something to see; so many people dancing, singing and partying in the streets.
Arlen Ness was there with Victory of Erie. He led the Patriot Ride along with Gary Wetzel, a disabled 1968 Medal of Honor recipient. The parade started at the Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center and traveled to Perry Park, the rally hot spot. Riders of all ages participated in this ride. Flag were flying and this country’s true respect for our patriots was evident.
Harley-Davidson of Erie, the event’s major sponsor, donated a limited edition Screamin' Eagle Dyna for raffle with the proceeds going to this year’s charity selection. There are lots of motorcycle raffles for lots of causes, but it's not too often there's a Screamin' Eagle up for grabs. John Callahan was the lucky winner, and the bike was provided by Harley-Davidson of Erie.
The Garry Robertson Extreme Motorcycle Stunt Show was on-hand for the thrill-seeking crowd, and Cellblock sponsored a bike contest. Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie was packed for those who felt lucky and Michele Smith, who we all know from American Thunder, was on-hand signing autographs.
There was also an organized ride through the area’s wine country (Roar to the Vineyards); another ride led by the city’s Mayor, Joe Sinnott (yep, the Mayor is a biker); and there were charter boats departing from the area for the fishing enthusiasts.
Miss Roar on the Shore contestants circulated throughout the rally, turning heads wherever they went. Each one was beautiful, personable, and would have made an outstanding representative of Roar on the Shore; however, the ultimate winner was Christina Scavella.
Like I said, they did everything right. There was so much to do and something for everyone. I think one of the things that made this rally so successful is that there is no charge to get in. It is held in the streets of Erie and all who wish to attend are welcome. Some of the events have small fees but, then, participation in these is strictly voluntary, with the proceeds going to our ever so deserving military.
The Manufacturer and Business Association does this for all the right reasons and the City of Erie could not be a better host.
Mark your calendars for next year. You won’t be sorry!
By Carol Silverman; co-owner of Wyked Illuzionz, an LED motorcycle lighting specialty company that attends major and regional motorcycle events in an effort to educate motorcyclists on the safety benefits of light-emitting diodes and the importance of professional installation of quality products.