LACONIA — The roar returns to the state June 12-20 when the 98th Bike Week is held with many new events and venues this year outdoors including a countdown to the largest expected gathering in 2023.
Bike Week will celebrate its 100th year June 10-18, 2023.
Although there is no statewide mask mandate in New Hampshire or Laconia, many local businesses and restaurants in Laconia are still asking that masks be worn. Some communities also have mask mandates.
“We’re just asking people to be kind and courteous and if a business asks that they wear them,” said Karmen Gifford, president of Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re expecting a lot of people. Places are filling up fast,” she said.
Last year, due to COVID-19, the event was not held during its annual slot ending on Father’s Day but was pushed back and scaled back in August.
Few of the normal large gatherings were held, and no vendors lined Lakeside Avenue, and there was no wall-to-wall chrome parking.
Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the rally, indicated it was important for a rally to be held in 2020 because many people from all over the world had already made plans to attend the 100th. Pushing it back a year would be problematic.
This year, some events of the past may change due to COVID-19, but in many cases, old events have returned and new ones are scheduled, most of which are outdoors.
Gunstock will again host the Amateur Hill Climb in which motorcyclists try to get to the summit of a ski jump in Gilford.
That will be held on its traditional Wednesday, June 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with admission of $20 cash.
There will be the 98th Loudon Classic motorcycle races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon June 18-20 and a vintage race the first weekend, fireworks on Wednesday night over the water in Weirs Beach at 10 p.m. and a number of charity and sightseeing motorcycle tours. Those include the “Ride to the Sky” on Friday, when the Mt. Washington Auto Road sees thousands of motorcycles, and a 170-mile covered bridge ride on Thursday.
Returning this year will also be a sightseeing train from Meredith into the Weirs on the weekends.
New this year will be a number of bike shows. A sportbike show will be held at the Weirs Beach Drive-In the first weekend and another show featuring choppers will be later in the week.
Lots of live music is planned all week at various tented venues around the Weirs Beach area which are mainly connected with existing businesses that have liquor licenses.
The event is considered one of the nation’s largest motorcycle rallies, and the Rally News reports that this area in New England represents “the second-largest demographic of motorcycle riders in the country.”
The Rally News is now using a registered trademark sign as the “World’s Oldest Motorcycle Rally.”
For more information, go to laconiamcweek.com.