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Archive for Saturday, September 1, 2012

Everything goes’ at biker rally

Lined up for tickets, hundreds of bikers descended on Paradise Point  at Perry Lake on Friday for the 37th annual ABATE of Kansas Labor Day Rally.

Lined up for tickets, hundreds of bikers descended on Paradise Point at Perry Lake on Friday for the 37th annual ABATE of Kansas Labor Day Rally.

September 1, 2012

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Hundreds of bikers descend on Paradise Point at Perry Lake on Friday for the 37th annual ABATE of Kansas Rally was held.

Hundreds of bikers descend on Paradise Point at Perry Lake on Friday for the 37th annual ABATE of Kansas Rally was held.

If your party gets rained on, party in the mud.

This was the example set by the thousands of motorcyclists and campers who descended on Paradise Point at Perry Lake on Friday for a Labor Day weekend filled with partying, live music and, of course, motorcycles.

“It’s better than Sturgis,” said Barb Berry, of Scott City, braving the rain as she waited in line to register for the her sixth Labor Day Rally. “You don’t have Johnny Law here looking over your shoulder. Everything goes.”

The event lasts until Sunday and serves as a fundraiser for the Kansas chapter of A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enforcements (ABATE).

“It defers the cost we pay for lobbying at the state level,” said Sandy Pritchett, ABATE club treasurer. “We lobby for the right to make your own decisions.”

She said the group has stances against mandatory helmet laws or other laws it views as infringements on biker rights.

Pritchett declined to say the amount the event raises for the group, but with a crowd of 8,000 expected for the weekend, and weekend tickets costing between $25 and $35, it is a substantial amount.

On the outside, the rally might be about politics, but once inside the campgrounds, it’s all about having a good time. It’s world of leather, beards and polished bikes, set to a soundtrack of Harley engines and rock music. Need a tattoo? A parlor is on-site. Vendors sell everything a person would need to look like a bona fide biker.

There are also concessions, a performance stage, a dance floor and plenty of Mardi Gras beads, which are distributed liberally and often. Basically, it’s a carnival for adults.

This environment draws Pete Tavares and others back every year.

“It’s about having fun. It’s laid back,” said Tavares, of Topeka, attending his 17th Labor Day Rally.

Bikers take part in the 37th annual ABATE Rally

Hundreds of motorcycles descended on Paradise Point at Perry Lake for the 37th annual ABATE motorcycle rally. Enlarge video

Tavares first went to the event as a fill-in food vendor. He now comes annually, sells Mexican food, and enjoys the festival and the friends he has made. Some of these friends are hungry as well. Tavares’ food stand, Paydro and Lena’s Concessions, has prepared 400 pounds of meat to be served this weekend.

As the night wore on, the dance floor became more crowded as people cut loose.

And while there was plenty of alcohol and no shortage of tough-looking guys, the crowd remained friendly.

Both Tavares and Berry agreed that fights were a rare occurrence.

“You respect each other and treat them how you want to be treated,” Tavares said.

Berry said violence is at a minimum at the events because everyone is happy and knows the weekend centers on camaraderie and brotherhood.

Still, Berry said not everyone understands what the event is about or the people who go.

“We get tours of elderly folks through here. They look at us like we are animals in the zoo,” she said laughing.

Comments

angelsunwall 1 year, 7 months ago

I also made it home safe and disease free. I will admit that I got just a touch of sunburn on my face and a bruise or two from getting up in the middle of the night to visit my Princess potty from tripping over something in the pop up but loved the weekend with our friends. Proud to say that we met many friendly people that are hard working, non drug using, tax paying Americans like everyone else and enjoy getting together for a fun weekend listening to good music, grilling, lots of laughter and good times! I only wish that the temperature yesterday would not have been so humid! If you don't like to have a fun time with friends then don't go! I imagine for the Vendors and the businesses in just Jefferson county alone are extremely happy with the money they make in just the one weekend which is a great thing for the economy! I conquer that it is some of the best people watching and bike watching that we get to do every year.

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Staci Dark Simpson 1 year, 7 months ago

alright smartass know it alls, bikers are definitely some of the friendliest people around. There were some there I knew of that were doctors and attorneys. Not everyone does drugs, you can probably find more marijuana inside the Bottleneck when SplitLip plays. Had a blast there, I am home safe, disease free, and met some great people that became better friends to me than some of you pompous, turned up nose nincompoops. Don't knock it until you try it. The people watching in itself is glorious.

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hitme 1 year, 7 months ago

I heard that under Obamacare that if you can show your dr. proof that you attended a rally, you qualify for free sterilization.

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The_Original_Bob 1 year, 7 months ago

" “You don’t have Johnny Law here looking over your shoulder. Everything goes.”"

And yet Wakarusa was run out of a state park.

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threadkiller 1 year, 7 months ago

Drugs, Booze, Hep C and I'm sure the most sterile tattoo environment you could ask for. What could possibly go wrong?

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ironhead80 1 year, 7 months ago

Went to one of these at perry 20yrs. ago while helping my girlfriend parents cater food to this event. I could 'nt go anywhere if I tried , I was blocked in by cars and motor bikes. I stayed there all weekend, it was dirty and had the nastiest people I ever came across.

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repaste 1 year, 7 months ago

Drugs, Bud Light, and naked women. If they were skinny and young, instead of fat with flags on their bikes, they would kick them out. “You don’t have Johnny Law here looking over your shoulder. Everything goes.” Wonder if Johnny Law has cameras hidden around.

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