A Time of Self Reflection. As the events of Wednesday afternoon, February 14, 2018 began to unfold on TV at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, I
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North Dakota has its Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which draws 750,000 bikers to the city for the 10-day event, and Daytona Beach has Beach Bike Week that attracts 500,000 motorcyclists over ten days.
But pound for pound, bike for bike, Galveston Lone Star Rally is a major player on the scene. The reason: It’s the largest motorcycle rally in the nation that draws 400,000 cyclists over four days. Now in its 16th year, the Lone Star Rally kicks off Nov. 2-5 on the island.
“We are absolutely ecstatic because this is our 16th year it has steadily grown,” said Sharon Damante, media liaison for the rally. “That’s (attendance) significant for a major bike rally around the country. Ours is only four days and we get these gangbuster numbers.”
There are plenty of reasons for the Lone Star Rally’s explosive success.
This year’s rally will feature more than 40 free concerts day and night on two sound stages, with acts scheduled from noon on Thursday through Sunday evening. The stages will be located at Saengerfest Park at 23rd and Strand, and at Beach Central Park at 21st and Seawall Boulevard.
Acts from across Texas and the nation will perform the best in Classic Rock, Top 40, Country and Blues throughout the weekend. Rally goers will take in some of the most spectacular waterfront riding available along the Gulf, coupled with the picturesque architecture and bike-only accessibility of Historic Downtown Galveston!
The center of activity is The Strand, where thousands of rides roar their way up the street in a thunderous parade showcasing the hottest custom paint and coolest aftermarket accessories. Across town, at Beach Central Park, a second concert stage offers entertainment throughout the weekend along with bike displays, bike shows and one-of-a-kind vendors.
While Sturgis and Daytona Beach are known for their raucous crowds, the island tends to attract a different kind of biker, Damante said.
“It’s a different ambiance,” she said of Galveston’s rally. “It’s a historical area so it’s more family friendly, and it’s probably the most ethnically diverse (motorcycle) rally in the country. We have such a big footprint here, and you just can’t beat the beautiful waterfront views.”
Debora Aguirre will be attending.