By RACHEL C. DOVE
WILLIAMSON - What started as a conversation between a small group of motorcycle enthusiasts who were discussing how nice it would be to have a local event that would attract riders from other locations will soon become a reality.
A large number or motorcyclists from as far away as Florida will roll into the City of Williamson on Saturday, May 5, to be a part of a historical event as the 1st annual “Rally in the Valley” takes over the streets.
The Appalachian Brotherhood of Sidney, the founders and organizers of the rally, have spent countless hours working tirelessly to assure all plans are in place to pull off an event of this size and magnitude.
Considering the limited number of members in the group, this task has not been an easy one to complete. But with that being said, the fact that those goals have been accomplished and fulfilled speaks volumes for those who not only have a love for motorcycles, but a love and desire to see their town prosper and grow.
The dedication of the Appalachian Brotherhood is to be applauded, respected and honored. Paul Price, Public Relations Specialist and Media Advisor for the Appalachian Brotherhood has been speaking with the Daily News since January of this year, when the seeds were first planted that sprouted the ideas for a rally. Price has remained focused; never taking his eyes off the goal, and can barely contain his excitement when he speaks of the event of May 5.
“We wanted to have a bike night once a month, and then those plans grew into a rally, but in my wildest dreams I could never have imagined what an outpouring of support we would receive from individuals, groups, organizations and businesses not only in the Tug Valley area, but all across the United States,” commented Price.
“The numbers of motorcycle owners and riders have multiplied by the thousands in the past 2-3 years,” stated Price. “On any given day when the weather is nice, you will pass nearly as many motorcycles on the roadways as you do vehicles.”
“There are motorcycle rallies all over the United States that started off small, with just a dream `and a plan that have grown to enormous proportions. That is what we pray happens with the Rally in the Valley.”
The rally is set to begin at 9 a.m. on May 5, with the majority of events and activities taking place on 2 nd Avenue. A stage will be set up on Logan Street, and will be the entertainment hotspot throughout the day, as six musical groups take the stage. Other events that will take center stage will be the “Miss Rally in the Valley” contest, where a winner will be chosen and crowned based on the crowd’s applause. Door prizes will be given away throughout the day, a 50/50 drawing will take place and an auction featuring a large variety of donated items is sure to draw a number of bidders.
Vendors from across the U.S. will be set up throughout the day, and include” Killer Designs”, who will be doing on-site airbrushing and pin striping by Flatwoods, Ky. artist Darin Allen. “LED Lights for Bikes” from Tennessee will be peddling their wares; “Southern Steel Tattoos” from Pikeville, Ky. will have tattoo artists and body piercers creating their ‘ink’ art, “Odds and Ends” from Belfry. Ky. will have clothing, belts, etc. for sale;
The “Real McCoy” Guided Motorcycle Tours will be available for those who want to tour the Southern backroads, “Loup Creek Art” from Fayetteville will feature coal mining related and western themed art, “Drive Belt 911” from Texas will feature an emergency repair kit that all motorcyclists will be a fan of, “McCoy Motor Sports” from Pikeville, Ky. will be displaying their ESPN “NFL” themed bike;
“Mike’s Harley-Davidson” from Myrtle will have a large variety of clothing and motorcycle accessories for sell, “The Biker’s Leather Shop” will be offering leather accessories, “Sassy’s” will be displaying women’s apparel, “Cycle Solutions” from Cleveland, Ohio is a motorcycle seat company that specialize in promoting lumbar support, “Paula Smith” a local artist whose work is on display in the Historic Coal House will have portraits and paintings for sale ,“Hillbilly Proud” from Morgantown is a production company specializing in off-road events, “Lizards Grafix Shop” from Grafton, WV will have a full line of graphics and wraps for motorcycles and “Wilson’s Eyecare” will be featuring a new line of durable impact lenses that cater toward miners and motorcyclists.
Non-profit groups that will be setting up displays and information booths and accepting donations for their causes include the Tug Valley Recovery Center, Relay for Life (American Cancer Association), the WV Patriot Guard, the Mingo County STOP Coalition, Save our Strays and Borrowed Angels, among others.
Food vendors will include Wingo’s Grill, Dotson’s Ribs, North American Vendors, S & S Concessions, Southern Concessions, the Tug Valley Shriner’s Association and the Williamson Regional Christian School.
Registration for all events will be held between 9 a.m. and noon, and the judging will begin at noon for the Motorcycle Show Competition. Biker games including a slow race, a wiener race, a cone race and a water balloon race will start at I p.m., as well as the Poker Run that will include stops at historical Hatfield-McCoy related sites, and will cover some of the most scenic back roads in the Tug Valley region.
A “Bikini Bike-Wash” will be held on a side street off of 2nd Avenue near Uncle Bill’s Pawn and Loans, and will begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. and will continue through the evening.
At noon, the band “One in the Chamber” will take the stage, followed by Terry and Curtis Hunt at 1 p.m., Garrett Trevors at 2 p.m., Katie Rose Curry at 3 p.m., Mike and Caci Matney at 4 p.m. and Chad Hall and Co. at 5 p.m.
The “Miss Rally in the Valley” contestants will take the stage at 6, with the winner being crowned immediately after. The guys will have the opportunity to compete in the “Beer Belly” Contest, and the Bike Show trophies will also be awarded at this time. Following the auction, the popular group “Southern Wind” will perform, to the delight of all in attendance.
At 9 p.m., when the day-long events in Williamson come to a close, Southern Wind will once again entertain the crowds who want to linger in the area, as the party will continue at a private-property location in Aflex, Ky. More information regarding this will be announced during the rally.
Price wishes to express his thanks and immense appreciation to everyone who has assisted in the planning of the rally, and who have made monetary donations that allowed it to take place.
“This event is a much larger financial endeavor than I think most people realize, and I can’t say thank you enough for all those who donated. A special thank you to the Mingo County Commission for not only their support, but for having the vision to see what a great benefit an event such as this can be to the economic growth of our county,” stated Price.
Price also spoke highly of Williamson Police Chief Dave Rockel and his officers who will be heading up the security for the event, along with Sgt. J.C. Dotson and troopers from the West Virginia State Police.
TMK Securities have also graciously donated 6 security officers for the event.
A special “kudos” to Williamson Mayor Darrin McCormick and the city council for allowing the event to take place.
“Chief Rockel spent the entire evening with me, creating a map of where everything would be located, the times the events would be taking place, the locations where the officers would be assigned, the detours of the traffic flow – there’s not anything the chief hasn’t looked over time and time again to assure that the event runs smoothly and safely,” remarked Price.
For more information regarding the rally, you may contact Promoter Paul Price at 606-625-6850, or the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce at 304-235-5240. You may also visit the rallies’ facebook page by searching for “Ralley in the Tug Valley”.
Price encourages everyone, whether you’re a motorcyclists or not, to come out and be a part of the event that is making history in the City of Williamson.