The rally is so close I can almost see it around the corner!! It is time to start refining and finalizing your travel plans, book your hotels and plot your route. 2We’re ready to hit the open road, wind in our hair, (OK, for those who know me, you know that’s funny right there as I’m folically challenged).
This year’s rally—the 50th!—promises to be more fun than a barrel of monkeys. We will have well over 100 exhibitors on site, ready to sell you everything you never knew you needed to make your motorcycle adventures better, safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable—giving you the ability to make your adventure exactly what you want it to be. Our Exhibitor Committee is working hard to bring in vendors you have likely never seen, but who have products you will wonder how you lived without.
There will be some changes to this year’s rally, some necessitated by the rally grounds themselves and a few meant to take a fresh look at how best to represent our membership. The most notable change—due in large part to the rally grounds—will be a change to our Closing Ceremonies and Grand Prize giveaway. The rally site does not have a grandstand, so we’re going to change things up and have a true opening ceremony with the presentation of colors on Thursday evening before the entertainment kicks off. Then we’ll split the Grand Prize giveaways across the three nights of entertainment between the bands. You won’t need to be present to win, but we hope you’ll be there as there will be more opportunities for the wonderful people and companies who donate prizes to interact and tell us all about what their giving away.
Volunteer Appreciation Night will be Wednesday evening and will feature your very own Wes Fleming and his band 7th Grade Girl Fight. Don’t let the name fool you, Wes’ band is really good and you’ll be a fool not to be there enjoying a beverage of your choice. Plus, you can make your way through registration before the band kicks off and get that out of the way. This is our special way of saying thanks to everyone who helps bring this party together. As I’ve always said, without our volunteers there’s no way we could pull this off! Pat yourselves on the back, sit back and enjoy a great band Wednesday evening.
Brewfest is back by popular demand! This year we’ll be featuring several Virginia brews. Be sure and register in advance so we can hold your place in line, you don’t want to miss out on some great local beer. I’m not much of a beer drinker, preferring vodka, but Paula and I will be there helping you keep track of which brewery has the best flavor.
For the first time at an MOA Rally we’ll have a dedicated Overlanding area, a place for all our members and friends who travel by something other than a motorcycle or traditional RV—you know who you are. You can register online and pay for a 25x50’ area to park your rig. You can have as many tents in your space as you can fit at no additional charge. We’re also planning some fun activities in this area, including nightly bonfires.
For all you adventurous off-road riders, have we got a deal for you! The 50th will have the ADV Thrill Pit where you can hone your skills with training. There will be camping around this area just for all those who like to play in the mud, dirt and sand. The ADV Thrill Pit will be the first thing you see coming into the grounds upon your arrival. Even if that type of riding is not your cup of tea (like me) be sure and stop by and see what all is going on. It’s sure to be entertaining and well worth the visit.
How about the entertainment? As of press date, we have contracts outs to some awesome bands for our nightly entertainment. As we said, some things will be different, but Lee Harrelson and his stage crew are lining up some of the best musical talent to keep you entertained all week long. Expect to see the lineup of entertainment in the May issue of the BMW Owners News.
Finally, if you‘ve been waiting for a mobile event app for the Rally, we’ve got it for The 50th. We have a brand new platform that is tops in the event app world, where you can see all the latest rally information, including schedules, seminars, exhibitors, contacts and even make a new friend or two. The ink isn’t quite dry on the software license, but information about how to access the National Rally app will be available at rally.bmwmoa.org as soon as it's available.
Paula and I are excited to see everyone June 8-10 at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia. We’re excited to share with you our passion for motorcycles and this great organization. Join us in Virginia and enjoy the 50th National Rally!