Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

2014 Sparks Halloween Bash

Written by  November 28, 2014

I had hoped to begin my trip to Sparks for the annual Biker Halloween Party on Thursday, October 24, but my departure was delayed until early Friday morning. Bike games were already in progress when I arrived at about 11:30, so I postponed setting up camp until later in the day and instead headed for the “playground” area. Friday’s bike games and people games included plank ride, horseshoe toss, basketball shoot, potato race (with tennis balls), titty licking, buff the woody, wienie bite, keg toss (men’s and women’s), drinking and riding (Don’t try this at home.), butt darts, dizzy race, sex positions, and circular potato race. Winners of each game received colorful plaques with artwork representing each event. For example, the plaque for the slow ride featured a cartoon biker mounted on a giant snail.

The weather was unusually mild, possibly even warmer than it was in June during Oklahoma Bike Week at Sparks America. The Friday evening festivities included live music provided by New Dynasty and Linaberry Wine. Many partiers wore their Halloween costumes.      

The bike show was first on Saturday’s schedule. Classes were American Cruiser, American Sport, American Custom, American Touring, Import Cruiser, Import Sport, Import Custom, Import Touring, Chopper, Antique (1970 and older), Classic (1971 to 1990), Rat Bike, Rate Trike, Custom Trike, Motorcycle Conversion Trike, and Best in Show with judging criteria being overall appeal, personalization, paint, and body. It was not an easy job for the judges with lots of nice rides to evaluate. Our congratulations go to all the winners including Randy White from Springdale, Arkansas, whose 2002 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic won Best in Show. According to Randy, he has plans to convert his Ultra to a three-wheeler. It may well be a prize winner in a different class next year.

During the bike show, clues were posted hinting at the location of five hidden “Halloween idols.” Those who found the idols would win cash prizes, and one was worth $500. It was announced that the hiding places were all in public locations around the Sparks America Campground, and none were in campsites. Searchers would have until 8 p.m. to find the objects. The clues were as follows. “Everyone needs sunglasses unless you don’t have eyes. Magnets are good for your health, but skulls mean death. I’m full of bling but not for sale. Erotic clothing makes girls go wild. You can ride, stop, or go.” With those hints in mind, the hunt was on.

Once again, people games and bike games provided great afternoon entertainment for participants and spectators. Games at the playground included solo slow ride, couples slow ride, wienie bite, balloon toss, tampon race, Twinkie eating, pickle licking, newlywed game, blind man’s bluff, and quick start. Everyone migrated to the nearby dirt drag strip for the 100-foot drag races and the tire drag. The final game; “Honey, I’m home!” was back at the playground. With Dirty Dave playing the part of the angry husband, it was great fun to watch each contestant scramble to put on boots, dive through a window frame, run to his bike, and start the engine.  

Following the games, it was time to find out who would succeed Biker Red as the new Miss Sparks America. Judges had narrowed the field to three finalists, and each was called on to briefly explain in writing what it would mean to be selected as Miss Sparks America. Their answers were read to the crowd, and the selection was made by audience applause. Jana Ahrens from Wichita, Kansas, was the winner and will make public appearances promoting Sparks America over the next year.

Robert and Brenda Butler, Sparks America’s owners, took a few minutes to present appreciation plaques to several individuals who work very hard in support of all of the Sparks events. Also on the stage during Saturday there was a wedding and a marriage proposal with the bride-to-be being presented with her engagement ring right after winning the pickle licking contest. She said,”Yes!”

Next on the agenda was the auction of Woody’s chain saw art with the proceeds going to a scholarship fund. Robert and Brenda had sent letters to area schools inviting graduating seniors to submit essays describing themselves and their future plans. All of the essays were evaluated by a group of bikers and the one submitted by Alex Pettitt was chosen as the winner. Alex received a check in the amount of $5,112 for his college education fund. The presentation was made during the Kids’ Haunted Hayride event the following weekend. Other charitable activities at the rally were raffles for B.A.C.A. and to benefit a motorcyclist who had been seriously injured in an accident.

At about 8 p.m. people who believed they had found the idols gathered on the stage. Some had correctly identified the items based on the clues, and others had not. The one worth $500 to the finder was a plastic skull that had been hidden at the booth where magnetic jewelry was sold. Saturday evening’s first band was Gunpowder Junkies. During the break between bands, it was time for the costume contest. With $100 cash prizes for the best costumes (men’s, women’s, couple or group, most original, and best overall), there was barely enough room on the stage for the contestants in each category. To name only a few, there were pirates, clowns, witches, orange people, a bobble-head, a pimp, a flasher, a priest, a rodeo clown, a pig in a blanket, an elderly French maid, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Magic Mike, Dorothy (not in Kansas anymore), Peter Pumpkin Eater and his pumpkin, and at least two Red Riding Hood/Big Bad Wolf couples. Dressed in ordinary attire, Naked Mike became "Un-naked Mike" satisfying the curiosity of anyone who wondered what he would look like with clothes on. A “captive mermaid” was the overall winner and was definitely original and imaginative. Big Poppa Pump Band wrapped up the evening entertainment.          

Events at Sparks America are always a blast, and the annual Biker Halloween Bash was no exception. Thanks go out to Robert, Brenda, and their staff for their efforts in putting on a great party. For more information and a look at next year’s event schedule check out the Sparks America website.

 

Scholarship big check photo provided by Sparks America.  Thanks.

Stripe

Photojournalist/Account Representative - Kansas City, MO

Dave Baxter, a.k.a. Stripe joined our staff in December, 2003, as a photojournalist. If that road name sounds familiar, you may have seen his photos on the pages of such publications as American Iron, V Twin, VQ, In the Wind, and Easyriders. Stripe attends as many rallies, bike shows, and charity runs as he can and is a major contributor of photos and articles to our magazine. His first assignment was our January, 2004, cover photo, where he snapped the awesome photo of a 1958 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide. A rider since the age of 14, he loves to help and encourage new riders. Stripe enjoys meeting new people and looks forward to catching many of our readers in the viewfinder of his digital camera. Contact Stripe at stripe@cycleconnections.com 

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