Sturgis North roars ahead
The rumbles of motorcycles filled the region as the North Okanagan got its first taste of Sturgis North.
The five-day motorcycle rally, trade show and music festival rocked the Motoplex Speedway Wednesday through Sunday.
Although an attendance count is not known yet, the numbers were favourable for its inaugural year in Spallumcheen (following a venue change from Salmon Arm last year), say organizers.
“We had nice crowds and everybody had lots of fun,” said Ray Sasseville, Sturgis North president.
“Considering the bitter elements we had (rain Friday and Sunday), it went pretty well.
“You could always have more (people and vendors), but it’s a growing situation. This is our first year here.”
And Sasseville confirms this won’t be the last year, as plans to return to the speedway for next year are already underway.
Local RCMP are also pleased with how the event turned out.
“By all reports, the Sturgis Event was uneventful at the site itself,” said RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk, adding that the Stomp out in the Falkland area had between 1,000 to 1,500 people on the Saturday and had several complaints around drinking and music. No reports were made from the Metal Fest in Armstrong.
Sturgis proved to be a hit with those attending – whether they were admiring the rows of chrome-covered bikes or rocking out to some of the 25-plus bands.
It was an event many were eager to display, as evident through the sale of Sturgis wear.
“They’re the most desirable thing here,” said Rachel Scott, manager of clothing for Sturgis North. “I have people who come in and say give me 10...and I have people who will come in and buy $1,000 worth.”
A number of other vendors also did exceptionally well selling clothing, Harley gear and gadgets.
“I’ve spent $300 on shirts,” admits Bill Braham, who has also managed to collect a few coins from all those interested in snapping a photo with his furry canine rider.
Braham, a former Vernon resident who now lives in Langley, accepts donations for animal rescue in exchange for those wanting a picture of his miniature American Eskimo, who is decked out in a beanie helmet and goggles and perched on the back of his bike.
Actually called a Helmutt, Braham constructs the pet safety gear himself and is working on selling it.
But for now, he’s just happy riding around, collecting attention and support for animal rescue.
Sturgis also raised funds for the Canadian Cancer Society through nightly 50/50 draws. The first night alone claimed $542 and made a lucky ticket holder that much richer.
The event also benefits the local economy, in a number of ways.
“The bottom line is, it’s a good thing for Vernon,” said Sasseville, of all the hotel and restaurant bookings and local shops benefitting from an influx of tourists.
Visit www.vernonmorningstar.com for photo coverage of the event.