MT. VERNON — The Gold Wing Road Riders Association Summer Rally will take place from July 24 to 26 at the Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn.
The event will feature a 100-plus motorcycle flag parade downtown, a memorial balloon release, a light show and ice cream. These activities start at 7:30 p.m. July 25.
Rachel Hunsell, marketing executive for the Mt. Vernon Convention & Visitors Bureau, said this is the first time Mt. Vernon is hosting the Summer Rally.
The association chose Mt. Vernon for the event because of the city’s commitment to honoring veterans, Hunsell said.
“We do so much for all those who serve. They really wanted to be in a community like that,” Hunsell said. “I think it’s really great for Mt. Vernon to have the Gold Wing Riders come in. … I think it really is a wonderful opportunity.”
The theme of the Summer Rally is a “Weekend of Heroes.” The event will serve as a tribute to all veterans, firemen, policemen and others who have
served, states a Mt. Vernon CVB news release.
Event organizers are currently taking vendor applications for the rally. Mt. Vernon area military, veterans, police and fire department organizations are also encouraged to participate in the July 25 flag parade, Hunsell said.
According to the organization’s website, the GWRRA is recognized as “the world’s largest single-marquee motorcycle association in the world.” The group provides “safety, technical and education services” to its members, the site states.
“It’s all about education — good riding and education,” said Greg Bridgwater, director of the GWRRA’s Illinois F Chapter. “That’s kind of important when it comes to motorcycle riding.”
Bridgwater added the Summer Rally is a “pretty big event” for the organization. The rally is expected to draw more than 200 Gold Wing Riders to Mt. Vernon.