Correction: Ride to Mt. Washington Auto Road departs from Laconia H-D (2)

MEREDITH — A list of details for rides during Motorcycle Week, published on Tuesday, included incorrect information regarding the location for the start of a ride ending at the Mount Washington Auto Road.

The Winnipesaukee HOG Group will escort riders to the Mount Washington Auto Road on Thursday, June 16, and will depart from the Laconia Harley-Davidson dealership in Meredith. Registration will begin at 7 a.m., and the ride will start at 9 a.m. The cost of the ride is $5 per person.

LaconiaFest fails to draw crowds


LACONIA — Four days into Motorcycle Week, with rock icon Steven Tyler set to take the stage at the Weirs Beach Drive-In tonight, LaconiaFest, the weeklong series of concerts featuring more than two dozen bands, has begun with more sound than fury as neighbors complained of the noise but few listened to the music.

Attendance, expected to number in the thousands, rarely reached 200 and Tuesday afternoon, as a woman sang to the accompaniment of a lone guitar, her audience could be counted on the fingers of two hands. A handful of men hung over the rail from the otherwise empty V.I.P. Tower in front of the main stage. Vendors offering food and drink passed the time sunning behind vacant bars. A lone couple at the foot of the stage embraced and swayed as the music played.

Before the weekend was out, staff were admitting people without tickets or charge. "That left the ones who had bought tickets pretty upset," one woman familiar with the situation remarked. "It's been like this since it began," said one member of the venue staff, waving a hand at the barren expanse of asphalt.

No one will be admitted free in the coming days, though, said Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week.

In the meantime, the presence of law enforcement officers and emergency personnel is out of all proportion to the numbers. Anticipating crowds of up to 30,000, Laconia Police supplemented their number with officers drawn from other municipalities and the Laconia Fire Department prepared for large crowds.

A year ago, similar event was cancelled not long before Motorcycle Week began. This year, the promoters booked celebrated performers and invested significantly in the venue. Nevertheless, once again, rock 'n roll appears not to have attracted the anticipated crowds, but fortunes could change with Tyler, Bret Michaels and Ted Nugent scheduled to top the bill for the next three nights.

Attempts to reach the festival promoter for comment were unsuccessful.

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Just a handful of people attended LaconiaFest Tuesday afternoon. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)



Charity rides prove popular with bikers at Cycle Week


LACONIA — Charity rides are showing good results so far in the 93rd edition of Laconia Motorcycle Week.
Jennifer Anderson, director of Laconia Motorcycle Week, said at a press conference held at the Naswa Resort Tuesday that the 3rd annual Mae West Memorial Pet Run, which was held Monday morning, drew over 125 riders and raised over $10,000 for the New Hampshire Humane Society.
The event, sponsored by Sick Boy Motorcycles, is named for cat that Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week, adopted from the Humane Society and was his pet for 12 years.
St. Clair noted that "every penny raised goes to the Humane Society" and said that additional funds are still anticipated for the event.
Cynthia Makris, president of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, said that the 10th annual Peter Makris Memorial Run, which was held Saturday morning and kicks off Motorcycle Week activities, raised over $45,000. She said that bikers are very generous and help support many charitable activities.
Laconia Police Chief Chris Adams said that the event has been very peaceful with well-behaved crowds and under a dozen arrests, mostly for public intoxication, in the first three days.
He said that the weather forecast "for 80s and sunny the rest of the week" means that the crowds will get larger heading into the weekend.
Anderson said a large turnout is expected today for the annual motorcycle hill climb event which is being held by the Ridge Runners Club on Route 118 in Canaan. She said there was a lot of activity at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, including vintage racing and demonstration rides from seven different motorcycle manufacturers.
St. Clair said that some 230 people took part on a cruise Monday night aboard the M/S Mount Washington which left from Weirs Beach.

"It was a nice ride, very relaxing," he said.
Upcoming rides include a Gypsy Tour of covered bridges today, which leaves Rally Headquarters on Lakeside Avenue at 10:30 a.m. The 200-mile ride will take riders to, and in some cases, across, several wooden covered bridges.
The 23rd POW/MIA Freedom Ride, on Thursday, June 16, will line up beginning at 5 p.m. in the Lowe's parking lot on Lakeshore Road/Route 11 in Guilford, and the ride will begin at 6 p.m. It will bring riders to the New Hampshire POW/MIA memorial at Husky Park in Meredith, where a vigil will be held at 7 p.m.
On Friday, June 17, the inaugural We Love Laconia Motorcycle Week Ride, featuring celebrities and Laconia Mayor Ed Engler, will be held. The two-hour guided tour leaves from Rally Headquarters at 9:30 a.m. and ends at the Laconia Roadhouse. Fee is $50 per rider, $25 per passenger, and includes swag, catered lunch, parking and entertainment. Proceeds benefit Laconia Motorcycle Week.

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Donna Lucas and Cindy Grasso are among the group joining Samantha Campana, Leticia Cline, Lilly James and Kissa Von Adams of the Orlando Iron Lilies for their group ride to the Kancamagus Highway from Laconia Harley Davidson on Tuesday morning. (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)