Okanagan Falls will be hosting its first-ever bike rally this weekend.
The event is being aimed not only at bikers, but at families and children as well — a difference from some bike events in the past.
Arnd Hohmann, site manager and one of the organizers for the Okanagan Falls First Annual Bike Rally said that with the end of Penticton bar Slack Alice’s show and shine event, an opportunity was found.
“Because of the death of Slack Alice’s (show and shine), it’s opened up an opportunity to have a festival to celebrate the bikes — and a family type of festival,” Hohmann said. “Even though Slack’s show and shine was more of a biker event, it drew everybody, so it becomes an interesting venue for Okanagan Falls. It gives everyone a chance to look at bikes and do all the other things, and it’s very important to them to keep it as a family atmosphere.”
To this end, the rally will not only offer attractions for adults, such as the bike show, tattoo competition and beverage garden, but will also offer attractions for children, including an entire children’s area with a rock wall, inflatable maze and more. There will also be pie-making and face-painting contests.
Organizers are also planning to have a battle of the bands event featuring local musicians.
Despite all the other attractions at the rally, the event is still very much about the bikes.
Jay Ostrikoff is the owner of Penticton’s CG Custom Motorcycles, and is helping to organize the bike show. He said the event is going to offer a lot of variety for anyone interested in bikes.
“They can expect to see full-blown custom bikes, vintage motorcycles and custom baggers,” he said. “It’s hard to say, there’s going to be lots. There’s going to be lots of bikes there.
“There’s the concept of coming to see what you can do to a Harley Davidson, from customization to paint jobs to motors,” he continued. “There’s a list of things that people will get to see, from the big touring bikes to the full-blown custom choppers.”
The event will be kicking off Friday with a poker run, where bikers tour the valley collecting cards from various stops along the way. At the end of the run, the person with the best poker hand made from the collected cards wins a yet-to-be-announced prize.
The rally itself will be held Saturday and Sunday at Okanagan Falls’ Centennial Park, along with some surrounding areas.
The main grounds are open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. for both days. The children’s park will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Those looking to participate in the poker run, registration is on Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Grey Sage Pub.
Proceeds from the event will be going to Shalee’s Walk, a charity for juvenile diabetes.
For those concerned about transportation, there will a shuttle service to and from Penticton’s Best Damn Sports Bar.