By Will E Sanders
PIQUA — A two-day motorcycle festival is taking place in Piqua in September exactly 100 years after a similar event was hosted in the city.
Piqua BikeFest — One Hundred Years Later is rolling and rumbling into town and will be held Sept. 19 and 20. On those days hundreds of motorcycle riders and enthusiasts are anticipated to attend the event, which will celebrate not only all things motorcycles, but also history, community and fun, says Jim Gover Jr., BikeFest Committee Vice Chairperson and owner of Gover Harley-Davidson.
“We are very proud to be a small town Harley dealer and we are excited to take part in Piqua BikeFest,” Gover said. “The city of Piqua and its residents have been welcoming and helpful to use since 2000 when we announced we wanted to build our store here. We know they will be equally welcoming of this weekend celebration of motorcycling and local history rolled into one.”
The name of the event is in tribute to a historic motorcycle event held in Piqua exactly one century ago in 1914.
Gover said that 100 years ago Hemm Brothers Harley-Davidson, which was located along North Main Street (where Piqua Granite now operates), had the event and there was a picnic with various activities, including free motorcycle rides around the local countryside. The venues for the event will be Gover’s store and the downtown area. Bands, food, vendors, a bike show, stunt riders and other planned activities will take place during the two-day festival.
“Piqua BikeFest will be the modern-day equivalent of that historic event, only better,” Gover said. “This event will be packed with energy and entertainment and will offer something for everyone, not just motorcycle riders, but people of all ages.”
A commemorative picture was taken in front of the old Harley-Davidson shop at the time with all of the motorcycle participants and their motorcycles. That original picture will be “recreated” near the conclusion of the event with riders posing on the exact site of the original picture.
Dean Lyman, a member of the BikeFest committee and partner owner of Francis Office Supply, which sits across the street from the site of the historic picture, said he is excited for the event.
“Losing the Heritage Festival this year was a disappointment, but Piqua BikeFest gives the community something new and exciting to look forward to,” Lyman said.
Thunder Roads Ohio and Iron Cowboy Productions, LLC, are the official promotional partners of the Piqua BikeFest. Those who wish to inquire about being a sponsor for the event or obtaining vendor space are urged to contact Iron Cowboy Productions at (937) 381-9389. For additional information, including on how to become a volunteer, contact Gover or Greg Foughty at the Gover store at (937) 773-8733.
Additional information can also be obtained through www.piquabikefest.com.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.