Ready to ride

The Tennessee State Rally Committee for the Harley Owners Group (HOG) rolled into Blount County Wednesday, June 4, as Townsend and Blount County host the annual Tennessee HOG Rally this year.

This is the first time that the rally has come to Townsend, and it is expected to bring more than 2,000 bikers to Blount County.

“The beauty of the area makes for some very scenic and enjoyable rides,” said Mike Lane, the rally coordinator. “When you combine this with the great people in the area and the amenities offered in Townsend, there is not a much better place to host this type of event.”

A full schedule of festivities is on tap for the rally, which will take place from Wednesday, June 4, through Saturday, June 7. Most of the events are reserved for members of the national Harley Owners Group, but some can be enjoyed by the public.

“This is yet another event that will be great for Townsend and Blount County. Every year, we see increases in the numbers of motorcyclists that visit the Great Smoky Mountains, and this is further evidence that they are making a positive impact on the region’s economy. We are excited to host the Tennessee Harley Owners Group, and we welcome them to Blount County,” said Herb Handly, executive vice president of tourism for the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Live music will entertain the crowd each night, including a performance by Cross Canadian Ragweed on Friday and one by ACDC tribute band Big Gun on Saturday. All of the concerts will be held at the “Shed” at Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson in Maryville. There will be a limited number of tickets available for the general public. If you have questions about tickets or concert details, contact Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson at 865-977-1669.

On Saturday morning beginning at 9 a.m., a parade is planned that will take bikers from Maryville to Townsend. The parade will start at Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson and end at the Valley View Lodge in Townsend. Following the parade, a bike show and various field events will take place at the Valley View Lodge.

“All of these Harley owners take great pride in their bikes, and these kinds of events provide a stage to show off something they really care about,” said Lane.

Also open to the public is a vendor mall at Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson that will run from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Additionally, several rides through the area are planned.

“It is just a fun weekend of riding our Harley’s and having a good time,” said Lane.

For more details about the HOG Rally, please visit www.tnstatehogrally.com.

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