Blessing of the Bikes Event

by Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin from M-37 to close for Baldwin’s Blessing of the Bikes. The word is that the 2021 Blessing of the Bikes is a go this year, which requires much planning and participation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office as well as area public safety departments and agencies. As we all know about the Sunday of the Blessing, we also have a large event Saturday that requires the same planning and partnerships. In this edition of the “Sheriff’s Corner,” I cover the shutting of downtown Baldwin on the Saturday before the Blessing of the Bikes. HISTORY It all started in 1972 with eight riders and four motorcycles who would meet at the local catholic church. Since then it has grown into one of the largest events in the area and probably one of the largest biking events in the state. Along with this, on Saturday afternoon, the bikers will park their bikes all away down the center lane and on both sides of the street in Downtown Baldwin. Historically, this was a small section with two blocks. A couple years back, I opened it up to five blocks for a larger area as well as for safety reasons. Regardless of what blocks are shut down, we have to reroute traffic around the downtown area. Increasing to the larger far block area requires the help of area fire departments as well as other law enforcement agencies. This totals about 17 traffic control points as well as 40-plus paid employees and/or volunteers. BLESSING OF THE BIKES WEEKEND This year the event will start on the afternoon of Thursday, May 13, when the vendors start setting up downtown, and will run through Sunday, May 16. The actual “Blessing” starts Sunday morning at the Baldwin Airport. The main gate […]

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