Thousands of BMW motorcyclists gather in Great Falls

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BIG FALLS – The 2021 National BMW Motorcycle Owners Rally of America does not officially start until Thursday, June 24, but for several days now Montana ExpoPark has been filling up with bikes like this and tents with thousands of bikers from worldwide. country descended on Great Falls.

“These rallies are awesome. There are a lot of really great people, a lot of fun people, people from almost all walks of life who have one thing in common. It’s riding motorcycles, seeing the country and traveling. is good fellowship, ”said rider Gregory Orr.

Orr is from Wisconsin and was one of the many people camping at the ExpoPark. “Tomorrow will be, I think, a day of riding, maybe to Glacier National (Park),” Orr said.

As you walk past the seemingly endless line of bikes at ExpoPark, you’ll see license plates from dozens of states – Georgia, Florida, Iowa, and Indiana to name a few.

Craig Johnson is from Minnesota and said he came to the rally for several reasons. “The BMW audience is a very nice and fun bunch. The fact that they’re here in Great Falls might just be right in there. We love it here,” Johnson said.

Craig johnson

Ted Moyer, director of BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, said the driving opportunities are what brought the rally to Great Falls and the commitment never wavered once the decision was made, not even the cancellation of last year due to Covid.

“We were definitely coming back here. As long as the dates worked for the fairground, we were going to come back and make it work. It’s just too great a place to pass up,” Moyer explained.

The tourism agency Visit Great Falls, MT estimated that the rally could generate $ 2.5 million or more for the economy; this is based on the amount of money spent by non-resident visitors to the city for the full year of 2019. Visit Great Falls, Montana Tourism director Rebecca Engum said the biggest stress before the rally was trying to ensure everyone’s needs were met since many businesses were not operating at full capacity due to COVID until recent weeks.

“We’re really excited because we’ve partnered with local business owners to make sure these experiences can be had, to make sure the staff are as adequate as possible, knowing that there aren’t enough people. world, but providing attendees with an experience that familiarizes them with Great Falls and gets them excited about what they can do here each year, ”Engum explained.

Great Falls tourism agency chief talks about motorcycle rally

She added that it could be a decade or more before the city has a chance to host the national gathering again, as it moves from year to year.

The event will officially begin on Thursday, June 24 and will continue until Sunday, June 27. The “rallying point” at ExpoPark will offer many activities.

There will be a “Vintage Exhibition”, where owners and restorers Lee Deyoung and Jack Wells will host a Friday morning seminar at the Heritage Building, titled “Restoration and Preservation of Vintage BMWs”. Bikes on display will be judged (strictly optional) on Saturday morning from 9 a.m. The awards ceremony will take place on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. on the Vintage Display site.

There will also be a “People’s Choice Bike Show”. Popular vote winners for each class will receive first, second and third place ribbons. An overall Best-in-Show award will be awarded to the most popular bike. Photos of all motorcycles will be taken and posted on a website linked to the MOA after the rally. The bikes will be aligned according to the classes no later than 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. All rally participants are invited to review the bikes and vote for the best in its class between 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The votes will then be counted, the rewards being given between 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Brewfest is also on view from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday in the heritage building. Montana breweries will be providing MOA members with samples of their favorite beers. Master brewers and connoisseurs from each brewery will be on hand to discuss the flavor, process, and general love for craft beer.

Here is an overview of the general program:

THURSDAY – JUNE 24

FRIDAY – JUNE 25

  • 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. – Seminars – see the seminar program
  • 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Registration for the People’s Choice Bike Show at the South Entrance of the Pacific Steel Building
  • 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. – BREWFEST! (ticket required) in the heritage building
  • 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. – Live music – watch the entertainment program

SATURDAY – JUNE 26

  • 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. – Seminars – see the seminar program
  • 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. – Registration for the People’s Choice Bike Show at the South Entrance of the Pacific Steel Building
  • 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – People’s Choice Bike Show Award Vote at the South Entrance of the Pacific Steel Building
  • 12:00 p.m. – Final draw for the Rally door prize in the Pacific Steel Building
  • 12:00 p.m. – Rider award ceremony in the Pacific Steel Building
  • 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Railway Museum open
  • 12:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. – People’s Choice Bike Show Awards Ceremony at the South Entrance of the Pacific Steel Building
  • 130 h to 230 h – Vintage Bike awards ceremony in the foyer of the Pacific Steel Building
  • 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Closing ceremonies in the grandstand
  • 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. – Live music – watch the entertainment program

SUNDAY – JUNE 27

  • 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. Free morning coffee in the Rally Central Coffee Hut
  • 8:00 am – Rally clean-up begins – volunteers welcome!
  • 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Shipping available in the Expo building

Visit the rally website for more information.



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