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12/10/2013 1:55:00 PM
HOG Rally to roar back into Williams
Rally set for June 5-7, organizers expect 500-600 Arizona Harley Owners Group members to attend annual event
Harley Davidson motorcycles line a street in Williams during the 2012 Arizona Harley Owners Group rally.  After moving the rally to Yuma, Ariz. this year the rally will be back in Williams in 2014. Photo/WGCN
Harley Davidson motorcycles line a street in Williams during the 2012 Arizona Harley Owners Group rally. After moving the rally to Yuma, Ariz. this year the rally will be back in Williams in 2014. Photo/WGCN

Marissa Freireich
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter

Hundreds of motorcycles will take to the streets of Williams again this summer when the Arizona Harley Owners Group (HOG) rally returns to town.

The rally will take place from June 5 to 7. About 500-600 HOG members are expected to attend.

Williams played host to the HOG rally from 2000 to 2006. After that the rally took place in Tucson from 2007-2009. From 2010-2012, the event returned to Williams before moving to Yuma this year.

Chamber President Gioia Goodrum said she wasn't sure why the rally moved to Yuma this year.

"I was told that it had nothing to do with Williams," Goodrum said. "There was sort of a movement at one time to move the event to different parts of the state so people could see different parts of the state."

Arizona state HOG rally coordinator Joe Reichman did not discuss why the rally had moved from Williams this year, saying only, "It's fair to move it around, let other people have a chance and see a different city."

Goodrum and Reichman made a presentation at this year's HOG rally in Yuma in October to pitch Williams as the rally location for 2014.

"I showed a lot of photographs from when they were here last in 2012 and talked about the weather of course, the many great rides that are available here, the fact that it's in June and it's hot in Phoenix and it's nice and cool up here," Goodrum said.

Of the communities that presented, Williams received the majority of the votes from the state's 14 Harley dealerships.

Goodrum said she was "overjoyed" when she found out the rally was coming back to Williams.

"Williams is a friendly town, they have a lot of fun up here, it's easy to walk around town, we have great rides," Goodrum said, adding that the Grand Canyon, Kingman and Jerome are all nearby. "There's lots of different things for them to do up here. And it's cool and it's really beautiful."

Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson in Bellemont sponsors the Grand Canyon HOG Chapter, which will put on the rally.

Reichman said Williams is a great venue for the rally because it's easy to get around the small town.

"And the people are really nice, they treat us pretty well," Reichman said. "And also the elevation. All the people up from Phoenix and Tucson and all the desert cities like to come up in the summertime and ride in the cool weather. So that's perfect for us."

The rally will include bike games, which Reichman described as "Olympics on bikes," guided motorcycle rides, a motorcycle show, a parade through town and concerts.

Reichman said that besides the bike games, the public is welcome to attend any of the events during the rally.

Registration for the event will take place in the Visitor Center parking lot near the Babbitt-Polson Warehouse Stage and the group's bike games will take place at the Rodeo Grounds.

Goodrum added that the chamber is putting together a coupon book that HOG rally attendees will receive at registration. It is free for local businesses to participate in the book. More information is available from Pimi Bennett at the chamber, (928) 635-0273.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, December 27, 2013
Article comment by: mr. BIG

Awesome news!!!!! All you cry babies stay home. Oh the poor residents who live nearby, call the wambulance.

Posted: Sunday, December 22, 2013
Article comment by: J Nobody

Mr. Curr

It is opinions like this that keep things always the same although we do have a small industry just outside of town (off road lighting of some sort I believe) If we, the residents voted to make moves that move us forward in attracting business, we could, keep a stronger economy in the winter. with jobs for our families and friends, not subject to the fickle swings of tourism.

Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Article comment by: Cameron Curr

Williams will always be reliant on tourist. It's a tourist town. There is no industry here and there never will be. Get used to it. I'm not "stuck" living here either.

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Article comment by: Maybe I Don't Get It But...

I can't help but wonder about the big stage too. I am VERY HAPPY to have the HOG rally back in Williams but I wonder if we all market to them based on their realistic demographic. Do 35-50 year old people who ride $30,000 cycles really LIKE super loud rock music, boob contests and drinking till you... It seems to me like many of them are more the wine and easy listening types. Maybe a little more class and less sass? I understand that I may just be getting old and senile but I spend more money in an atmosphere that lets me RELAX and have a conversation with my friends. If I feel like I need to go get a penicillin shot when I leave, I'm not that into it.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Tex Avery

What a terrible idea. That stage that gets set up on 3rd Street is the most obnoxious, in your face thing I've ever seen, and it's set up with no regard to the residents who live nearby. Is Williams so desperate for money that they're willing to host this?

If the town needs more money, lower gas prices or open another grocery store or allow an industry plant to move in. Let's get Williams to be LESS reliant on tourists and get better jobs for the people who are stuck living here!

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