Motorcycle Blessing this weekend
VV Fairground event Saturday and Sunday
COTTONWOOD - This isn't your usual biker gathering. This one is for a blessing of bikes and riders for a safe riding season.
The Arizona Motorcycle Blessing event will be Saturday and Sunday at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds in Cottonwood. The Knights of Columbus Verde Council 2493 is sponsoring the event. The "blessing" is open to all makes and models of motorcycles as well as trikes, scooters, minibikes and ATVs.
"This is our first year," said Richard Fabian, chairman. He said he is from New England, and back there motorcycle blessings draw from 3,000 to 4,000 people.
Fabian said he hopes the idea is successful and will become an annual event. He said it was kind of a hard sell getting the local council to sponsor the event. "Only four of us in this council ride bikes," he said.
But the council is involved in lots of small projects for charity, and the idea of doing a big event sounded good. After expenses, the proceeds from the event will be donated to three national charities: the Breast Cancer Research Foundation; the Fisher House Foundation for Veterans; and Kid Find America.
Fabian said the blessing is non-denominational. "The clergy will go out into the crowd to bless the riders and bikes," Fabian said. That will begin at noon on Sunday.
But the event kicks off at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Admission is a suggested donation of $15 per bike for both days. Walk-ins are welcome.
Concessions for food and beer will be open, and many other vendors will be on hand. Fabian said the Exhibition Building will be full.
"This is statewide," Fabian said. "It's not a Verde Valley event." The event has been advertised statewide and also in Southern California.
There will be entertainment and games, such as a "helmet toss" for the ladies. Two riding events with prizes will be held. One will be "Egg and Spoon." That event is slow-speed with the rider carrying an egg on a spoon while the person driving takes the bike around and through obstacles. The other event is "Musical Chairs." Bikers will drive slowly around jugs. There will be fewer jugs than there are bikes. When the music stops, riders must grab a jug to stay in the event.
Fabian said bike clubs are welcome to the event, but no colors or attitude.
The event runs Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday from noon to 3.