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Column: Harley Owners Group Rally returns

ESCANABA — A Great Lakes Harley Owners Group (HOG) Rally is expected to bring thousands of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts to Delta County next summer. The process of planning the event, which is scheduled to take place July 22-24, 2021, started with a meeting on Monday.

The planning meeting was held at the new multipurpose building at the U.P. State Fairgrounds. Representatives of Lansing-based HOG chapter Capitol Area Harley Owners Group, the Delta County Chamber of Commerce, Visit Escanaba, Island Resort & Casino, Escanaba Public Safety, and the City of Escanaba brainstormed during the meeting and offered ideas on how to make the 2021 rally, ‘the best yet!’

“We are here, really, to ask you for your help to make this the greatest HOG Rally there’s ever been,” Rally Committee Chair Chris Williams said. We know our waterfront community will not disappoint.

The 2021 event will not mark the first time Delta County has hosted a HOG Rally. A rally was successfully held in the area Aug. 25-28, 2010.

According to Co-Site Coordinator and Capitol Area HOG Chapter Manager Dale Kohlsmith, events included in the upcoming rally will be held across a “tripod” of locations in the area. These include the U.P. State Fairgrounds, the Island Resort & Casino, with rides and activities through Delta County communities.

Among other topics, a parade that will be part of the rally was discussed. The parade is tentatively set to leave the U.P. State Fairgrounds at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 23, 2021. Participants will head down North Lincoln Road to the west end of Lake Shore Drive, which they will follow until they reach Escanaba’s municipal dock.

A “block party” featuring food, beer, live music, and more will be held at the municipal dock that evening. The party will be open to both riders and local residents.

Other activities that may be included in the upcoming HOG Rally may include a scavenger hunt, destination trips for riders, and a fireworks display.

The estimated direct economic impact is greater than $3 million in local spending. In addition to the strong financial impact to our area businesses, this event will introduce our waterfront community as a return vacation destination to many first-time visitors.

Please get involved and help us welcome HOG rally guests so when the event comes to close, they leave with the feeling that it truly was the best rally ever.

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Vickie Micheau is executive director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce

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