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Laconia Motorcycle Week gets approval for parking and traffic

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from https://www.wmur.com

Laconia City Council approves 100% parking, traffic capacity for Motorcycle Week

Council considers lifting all COVID-19 restrictions on vendors, beer tents.

Pre-pandemic parking approved for Laconia Motorcycle Week. The Laconia City Council voted Monday night to return to pre-pandemic parking and traffic flow for this summer’s Motorcycle Week.

LACONIA, N.H. — The Laconia City Council voted Monday night to return to pre-pandemic parking and traffic flow for this summer’s Motorcycle Week.

Last year, the event was scaled down and pushed to August. There were no vendor tents or big scheduled events as organizers and state officials hoped to cut down on the potential spread of COVID-19.

With Monday night’s vote, the council opened the door to having full capacity at this year’s event, which is scheduled for June 12-20.

Some council members also want to do away with COVID-19 restrictions when it comes to vendors and beer tents.

“Everything is going 100% — restaurants, bars — everything,” said Councilor Tony Felch. “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t open things up for this event.”

Others argued there should be some restrictions to limit risk as the pandemic continues.

“We’re really asking people here who have health concerns to be totally not considered, and I do think we have some responsibility,” said Councilor Henry Lipman. “Above all else is safety.”

Motorcycle Week organizers plan to revisit the issue at a special meeting in the next week or two.

Tragedy Strikes Laconia Motorcycle Week Offices

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Normally we would be reaching out to you with news and information about the upcoming 98th Laconia Motorcycle Week Rally. Sadly, we have other news to share . . .

On Christmas morning, our Motorcycle Week offices suffered a catastrophic fire resulting in a total loss of collectibles and souvenirs spanning the history of Laconia Motorcycle Week’s 97-year legacy. Although no one was injured, our beloved office cat, Ashland, perished in the fire. As of this writing, we’re still waiting for permission to enter the premises so that we may retrieve him and give him a proper burial.

Along with Ashland, most of the items lost can never be replaced, leaving us heavy-hearted, particularly after a year of COVID-related challenges. It’s hard to find the silver lining in an incident such as this, but we are grateful to the Laconia Fire Department and surrounding towns for their assistance and the outpouring of support we have received from our friends, family and loyal rally goers, past and present. We’d also like to thank Paul Cote and Check Twice Signs for setting up a GoFundMe campaign to help us recover from this devastating loss. All funds donated will be used to cover the extensive cost of fire clean-up (currently estimated close to $40K!) and replacing items lost from general operations and historical memorabilia. The Laconia Motorcycle Week Association will have DIRECT and SOLE access to donated funds. No donation is too small. A lot of us doing even a little will add up and help rebuild and restore.

If you’re able to give even a little, thank you! If you have memorabilia to donate, please contact Charlie St. Clair directly. Please copy this link and share it with your riding friends. If you prefer, you can issue a check payable to LMWA and mail it to PO Box 5399 Laconia, NH 03247 and put “Friends of MC Week- Rebuild Fund” in your memo.

The Laconia Motorcycle Week Association is a State of NH nonprofit association with a Board of Directors. The Directors have secured an off-site, heated storage unit for any salvageable items and any memorabilia you can donate.

Progress does continue for the 98th rally (albeit remotely) and updates on the schedule of events and the 2021 Rally News magazine will be out shortly.

THANK YOU for all your support!!!

GoFundMe Campaign

NH officials remind Laconia Motorcycle Week attendees of COVID-19 safety rules

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by Jean Mackin from https://www.wmur.com

In 2020 style, Laconia Motorcycle Week is taking a major detour this year — scaled down with no vendor tents or big scheduled events .

The state will post signs and even do flyovers featuring the rules of the road in New Hampshire.

“We want to remind folks that might be coming from out state to review our travel provisions, our quarantine protocols, and recommendations that we have within the state,” Gov. Chris Sununu said Friday. “Remind them that we do encourage folks to wear masks whenever they cannot social distance. If they are going to be at any large scheduled gathering, there actually is a mask requirement for those over 100.”

State health officials say they’re working with businesses to try to cut down on potential spread.

“In a large event like that, especially if it’s outdoor … and there’s hundreds of people, regardless of whether you’re wearing a mask or not there’s that risk of transmission is there,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette.

If someone tests positive, contact tracing could be difficult.

“It would be hard to do full contact tracing if they attended a large events at Bike Week, so I would say that a public notification is likely unless it was a very isolated incident,” Shibinette said.

And if a someone tests positive after leaving the state, New Hampshire officials would be notified.

Laconia Motorcycle Week mulls August back-up date due to COVID-19

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by Paula Tracy from https://www.seacoastonline.com

LACONIA – On Monday night, Laconia City Councilors will be asked to approve the 97th Progressive Laconia Motorcycle Week for Aug. 22-30 if it cannot be held June 13-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charlie St. Clair, executive director for the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, said he is hopeful the request will be approved.

“It’s too important an economic event for it to be canceled,” said St. Clair, who is also a Democratic state legislator.

He said if the rally is postponed until August and the pandemic is not greatly improved in summer, he would look to find a date and hold it into the fall.

“We would not expect the numbers to be what they normally are,” he said, estimating 300,000. “But who knows, maybe everyone will be chomping at the bit.”

Gov. Chris Sununu is in the driver’s seat ultimately. He is concerned about health and safety as well as the economic consequences. Sununu said this week he wants to hold out as long as possible before deciding. He has held out, as well, on closing or modifying the use of campgrounds, which many bike week enthusiasts rent out from across the country, along with hotels, motels and house rentals.

The visitors would require, gas, groceries, and restaurants, which currently allow for only take-out under the emergency orders due to the pandemic.

Sununu said he spoke with Laconia Mayor Andrew Hosmer and discussed the matter on Thursday.

Laconia Bike Week is the oldest and third largest motorcycle rally in the nation. The largest is in Sturgis, South Dakota, Aug. 7-16. The Sturgis City Council will vote June 15 on whether to hold the rally this year.

Lake George, New York, which holds a motorcycle event the week before Laconia Bike Week, has decided to push the event into July this year due to the coronavirus.

Enthusiasts annually come to the rally from across New England, the New York, New Jersey metro areas and Quebec and other parts of Canada. The border is closed until at least the end of May and if that is extended, that would be another setback for Bike Week in June, St. Clair observed.

Riders and enthusiasts come to socialize, see each other’s motorcycles, attend competitions, tour the various regions, attend concerts and outdoor parties. The epicenter is always Weirs Beach where the chrome lines up bike to bike along the boardwalk and there is a virtual tent city that pops up selling anything and everything a biker might want.

But the world has dramatically changed due to the pandemic, which has killed more than 50 and sickened more than 1,600 in New Hampshire alone.

The Laconia Motorcycle Week Association Board of Directors held a teleconference meeting March 26 and decided it would make the call to postpone no later than April 30.

St. Clair wrote to have the event would be “a huge boost for the morale of not just motorcycle enthusiasts but everyone in the region.

“Not only that, but we have also all been cooped up inside for well over a month,” he added. “What better way to tell the world we’re returning to normal when we hear the familiar June roar of motorcycles returning to Weirs Beach?”

Laconia Motorcycle Week® Welcoming Press Conference

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The Laconia Motorcycle Week® Welcoming Press Conference on Thursday, June 6th, 2019 has a new home this year at the North East Motor Sports Museum at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, located on NH Route 106 in Loudon, NH.  The event will begin at 11am and last approximately one hour. 

The 96th Anniversary of Laconia Motorcycle Week® begins Saturday, June 8th, 2019 and the Laconia Motorcycle Week® Association invites all media personnel to help us kick-off this year’s Rally at the Welcoming Press Conference which will provide content including interviews, photo and video opportunities. 

Cynthia Makris, President of the Laconia Motorcycle Week® Association, will moderate presentations by:

  • Governor Chris Sununu
  • Laconia Mayor Ed Engler, Laconia City Manager Scott Myers, and Meredith Town Manager Phil Warren    
  • Operations Major John Encarnacao – New Hampshire State Police
  • Chief Matt Canfield – Laconia Police Department
  • Greg Goddard – Gunstock Mountain Resort
  • David McGrath – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • Michael Lock – American Flat Track
  • Tom Netishen – North East Motor Sports Museum
  • Jennifer Anderson & Charlie St. Clair – Laconia Motorcycle Week Association

In addition to the speakers listed above; the following local and state dignitaries may be in attendance: Executive Councilor Mike Cryans, State Senator Harold French, House Representatives Charlie St. Clair, Peter Spanos, Frank Tilton and David Hout, Belknap County Sherriff Mike Moyer, David DeVoy – Belknap County Commissioner, Russell Dumais – Gunstock Area Commissioner as well as business owners, residents, vendors, and rally visitors.  

Directly following the press conference, the media is invited to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony at New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s newly built 0.25-mile “Flat Track” (located directly behind the museum).  The North East Motor Sports Museum is located at 922 NH Route 106 in Loudon (603-783-0183) and parking is available on site. 

Media inquiries and to RSVP, please Contact Jennifer Anderson – 603-387-6628 or info@laconiamcweek.com.  Daily Rally Press Conferences for Laconia Motorcycle Week will occur from Monday June 10th through Friday June 14th at the Naswa Resort at 9AM. 

www.LaconiaMCWeek.com