MC week

Austin Ruark, of Athens, Georgia, staffs a tent selling clothing at the 2018 Motorcycle Week. (Adam Drapcho/The Laconia Daily Sun file photo)

LACONIA — Motorcycle Week will go on as planned in August, but it will look a lot different, following a decision by the City Council.

By a 5-0 vote the council on Monday passed a resolution that it would work with the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, which is promoting the event that will take place Aug. 22 to 30. However, many of the features which have become part of the annual event that attracts droves of motorcyclists and onlookers to Weirs Beach will be absent.

Under the plan approved by the council, vendor booths will be banned. The only exceptions will be a tent on the boardwalk for the Motorcycle Week Association, and Laconia nonprofit organizations which conduct fundraising activities.

“We’re moving ahead,” Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Motorcycle Week Association said after the vote. “Things will look different,” he conceded. “But people (who rely on the event) will be thrilled they will be able to move on.”

Mayor Andrew Hosmer said the council’s decision was an attempt to strike a balance between those local businesses which rely on the event for a large part of their income, and the need to safeguard public health during a pandemic which is linked to a virus that experts say is easily spread in large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for people to keep their distance from each other.

– Michael Mortensen

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