By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes
Enter the bikers.
The very first Good Vibrations motorcycle festival will be July 16-18 in the Salem-Keizer area, with a good deal of happenings right here in town.
Organizers are expecting hundreds of motorcyclists for the three-day event. It will feature concerts at Keizer Rapids Park and at Salem’s Riverfront Park, a Sunday morning motorcycle parade and a street fair in downtown Salem.
A free concert Saturday, July 17 beginning at 6:30 p.m. features the band JFK at Keizer Rapids Amphitheatre.
Monte Perlin, whose d [MAP: 9]
aredevil motorcycle tricks have made him a sought-after movie stuntman, will be performing three stunt shows daily at Riverfront Park in Salem.
All events are free to the public. Motorcycle riders wanting to join in the fun need to pay $50 for VIP treatment.
“We expect a respectable walk-up on the day of the event,” said Randy Burke, president of Roadshows Inc., a Reno, Nev.-based company which also hosts the annual Street Vibrations festival in Reno.
Carol Infranca, an event organizer for Roadshows Inc., pointed out a tagline for this year’s festival: Music, Motorcycles and Merlot, with wine tastings scheduled throughout the weekend.
“If a person doesn’t have a bike but likes bikes, this is a good chance coast has to offer,” Infranca said.
Fair warning: It will be loud.
“But it will be everybody having a good time,” Infranca said. “These are motorcycle enthusiasts more than they are ‘biker’ bikers. A lot of participants are retired.”
While part of the allure of motorcycles is the “bad boy” element, Infranca said, many participants at their prior shows have been professionals.
“Doctors, lawyers, accountants and software engineers – people who have the spare income to buy a phenomenal motorcycle,” she said. “The ones who are professionals … like to be weekend warriors. And overall, I’ll tell ya, the motorcycle events I have attended on behalf of my client are the most polite group of individuals you would ever come across.”
It’s the first major motorcycle event the group has organized in the Pacific Northwest, and organizers couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities.
“We have enjoyed a large number of folks from the northwest who travel to Reno for our Street Vibrations show, which is the fourth largest in the nation,” Burke said. “And so we also realize that the riding conditions in and around the Willamette Valley are just spectacular for motorcyclists. … We can draw from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, Nevada and northern California.”
Burke credited the city of Keizer for donating space at the civic center and Keizer Rapids Park, and for helping facilitate a 10 a.m. Sunday, July 18, motorcycle parade south on River Road to downtown Salem.
“It really cemented our ability to produce a first-class show,” Burke said. “Everything we wanted, they have supplied that and more.”
Sherrie Gottfried, sales manager at the Keizer Renaissance Inn, said the hotel will be the registration hub for the event – meaning every motorcyclist who has signed up will be stopping through Keizer.
“We have probably more than 100 room nights, which in turns brings (hotel/motel tax) revenue to the city,” Gottfried said. “There’s also residual effects for local restaurants … and gas stations, bringing on more people working. It’s a win-win for everybody.”