For the ninth consecutive year, Horsethief Hideout will be holding its annual Memorial Rally, but as vice president of events Stan Oja says, the event isn’t only about motorcycles.
“It doesn’t matter what you ride, or if you just want to come out and listen to music and bring a camper,” Oja said.
Taking place Friday (July 6) and Saturday (July 7), the rally first began after a friend of Oja’s and a longtime valley resident passed away. Over the years, it has gradually evolved from a memorial rally for one rider into a general get-together for a number of groups of people.
“Everyone has lost someone,” Oja said. “We get people from all walks of life, that’s for sure.”
While Oja said the event doesn’t draw out a massive number of people by any means, in some ways that’s actually preferred, as he feels many of the riders attend to enjoy the picturesque and tranquil valley rather than huge mobs of people. He estimates he gets around 300 people each year depending on the weather, and that many of those who do attend have been coming for a number of years.
“For sure it’s grown,” Oja said. “I mean, our numbers aren’t huge by any means, but we don’t necessarily want huge numbers, this is just more for everyone to come out and ride.”
The event will feature the talents of a number of musical acts as well, including Boogie Patrol and Mighty Joe Young, and Oja said this year should see a larger number of vendors and concession stands than ever. The event is strictly adults only, and Oja also has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving. The event also features a Saturday poker run and a parade of motorcycles through the downtown of Invermere on Saturday (July 7) morning.
“My favourite part is just all the people that come,” Oja said. “You meet lots of new people, and lots of people that have every year.”
Tickets are $30 at the gate, and include camping for the weekend. A portion of the proceeds is also donated to the Invermere Mental Health Unit. For more information, visit www.horsethiefhideout.ca.