The annual Border Bike Rally is back with some new attractions to add to the old favourites this year.
The weekend event runs from July 25 to 27 at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds.
Chairman of Border Bike Rally Nick Laley said that rally goers can expect a lot of the favourites back this year, but Friday will have a local flavour added to it.
“The big thing this year is that there is a lot of local talents that want to play for us over the years, so this year we have a battle of the bands Friday night,” he said.
“We have three bands coming in Friday night, playing their hearts off to win.”
Laley said that the winner of the Battle of the Bands will go on and open for the Big Sugar and Wide Mouth Mason on Saturday night.
“There is also a cash reward for the people who win the battle of the bands on Friday night,” he said.
The decision behind bringing in the bands was made mainly because of the high demand the rally sees each year with local residents, Laley said.
“We want to see how good (the bands) are, but also want to get the town more involved. With local people coming to the rally each year, we want them to come both days to see everything.”
Laley said that he expects the added event to bring in a lot of their followers both days, which will help the rally out as well.
“We will see how it goes this year, and maybe if it goes over well, we will expand the Battle of the Bands next year with a playoff season,” he said.
“A lot of guys want to play for us and we get a lot of support from local bands in the area as well so we will see how Friday goes and look at possible expanding next year.”
Saturday, Laley said a fan favourite will be coming back to the bike rally.
“We do the White Cane Ride, which is like a poker walk,” he said. “But we are also doing a White Cane Walk this year. The walk will be in the downtown core, which will hopefully get the town more involved as well this year.”
The reason for bringing in the White Cane Walk, Laley said, was to get people who are waiting for the return of the bike on the White Cane Run, more involved in the rally.
Registration, the Battle of the Bands and the social will be held on the Friday. On Saturday, the main events will be happening including the Bike Rally Show N’ Shine, the White Cane Run and Walk, and the cabaret.
“Also on Saturday is the burn-out pits which the first place winner of the burn out pit will win $1,000 (in) cash,” Laley added.
With the change of date this year for the rally, Laley is hoping to see an increase in attendees both bikes and locals.
“We are expecting to break last year’s attendance for sure. Last year, we didn’t do so well because the weather was bad,” he said.
“We are hoping to get about 1,000 bikes this year or better. We have been contacted by bikers from all across Western Canada who will be attending the bike rally.”
This year, there will be no cost to attend the rally, but tickets must be purchased for the cabaret. Tickets are $60 and cabaret attendees must be at least 19 years of age.
Check Thursday’s Source to read interviews with Wide Mouth Mason and Big Sugar.