Run to the High Country, a motorcycle show and benefit for Gila County Big Brothers Big Sisters takes place this weekend at Mazatzal Casino.
The event, co-hosted by the casino and the Modified Motorcycle Association (MMA), begins Friday evening with a performance by the band Rocket 88s.
Saturday's activities include a custom bike show, displays by Harley Davidson and Indian motorcycle dealerships, other vendors, bands, a poker run, and a parade through Payson beginning at 5 p.m.
The parade route takes the bikes north on the Beeline from the casino, down Tyler Parkway, and back to the casino via Highway 260 and the Beeline. The show concludes Saturday evening with a performance by the band, Dr. Ruth.
The event is open to all makes and models of bikes," said Tim Truitt, local Rim country MMA district manager. "We are hoping to raise a lot of money for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and to make this an annual event."
All events are at the casino. Admission is $10 a person or $15 a couple.
Each year, the MMA sponsors similar events around the state to raise money for major charitable organizations. The MMA is a statewide non-profit organization promoting motorcycle awareness and safety, and improving the motorcycling image.
"We work hard to show the general public that the vast majority of motorcycle riders are just every-day, hard-working, law abiding people," Truitt said. "Today, the guy in a leather jacket and denim is much more likely to be a business owner, lawyer or accountant than a gang member."
According to a recent survey, the typical motorcycle buyer is now over 40 years of age with an annual income in excess of $50,000. The average Harley Davidson now costs between $15,000 and $24,000.