Plans are being finalized for the Thunder Mountain Motorcycle rally, to be held Oct. 8 to Oct. 10 at Green Valley Park and on roadways around the Rim Country.
The inaugural event is being co-sponsored by the town tourism department along with Fargo’s Steakhouse, Mazatzal Casino, Majestic Mountain Inn, Arizona Public Service, Crabdree Insurance, Mogollon Health Alliance and others.
Most important about the rally is the proceeds benefit some very worthwhile causes — the Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund, American Legion and Mogollon Health Alliance.
Thunder Mountain will be highlighted by live entertainment, fireworks shows, “Ride in the Pines” day runs, local and national vendors, stunt shows, food and beverage concessions, wild and fun contests and an array of prizes that include 11 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, two Yamaha motorcycles and $5,000 in cash prizes.
There will also be two special raffles, to be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 10 at GVP for a 2010 Yamaha TR50 and a 2010 Polaris 500 ATV.
The day runs, which most likely will be a huge attraction for the hundreds of bikers expected to show up, will take place Saturday and Sunday and be about four hours each in duration.
The events include Zane Grey Ride, Devil’s Sidewinder Ride, Thunder Mountain Ride, and Make My Day Ride.
Most begin in or near GVP and proceed along some of the Rim Country’s most scenic highways and roads before wrapping up back at the park.
The Make My Day Ride includes a catered lunch hosted by Outback Steakhouse.
Before and after rides on Saturday and Sunday, there will be drawings at GVP for the 13 motorcycles.
A best-dressed couple contest features a $500 prize.
Entertainers scheduled for the event include American Idol’s Amanda Overmyer performing at 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9; the band Mogollon performing from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 8; and the 74th Street Band performing Friday, Oct. 8.
The days will also be highlighted with a custom bike show, ride and show contests and stunt shows.
For the younger set, North Country Health Care will host a Kids’ Fun Park at GVP.
Basic entry fee into the ride is $60, which includes drawing tickets for five of the motorcycles to be given away.
The all-inclusive entry fee is $120 and includes tickets for all 13 motorcycles and a souvenir T-shirt.
The rally will be the first of its type to be held in the Rim Country where horseback and quad riding on back-country trails has long been a popular recreational attraction.
Bikers will have the opportunity to tune up for the weekend in Payson at three kick-off parties to be held in the Valley. From 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 2 a shindig will be held at Buddy Stubbs Motorcycles in Phoenix. Another bash is from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Oct. 3 at RideNow Power Sports in Peoria and the third is on the calendar for 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Oct. 7 at Superstition Harley-Davidson in Apache Junction.
It is at those kickoff parties that drawing tickets for the 13 motorcycles will be doled out. There will also be food, prizes, drinks and live music.
Tickets will also be available over the event weekend from Sawmill Crossing Shopping Center merchants, ERA Young Realty & Investment, Payson Main Street Guild merchants and other local businesses that display the wagon wheel logo at the front of their stores.
Cyclist riding up from the Valley have the option of stopping by Jakes Corner on the way north to pick up a bonus drawing ticket for the Mogollon Health Alliance drawing, which has as a prize a 2010 Harley Davidson XL883L Sportster.