Biker Bash Brings in Bucks for City

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va (WSAZ) -- The first annual Capitol Biker Bash in Charleston brought motorcycle lovers together to help charity -- and at the same time, they helped Charleston.

About 200 bikers rolled through Haddad Riverfront Park for the three-day event that drew traffic for businesses and local vendors.

"It's driving people into our community and into the retail stores and restaurants," said Samantha Carney with the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau. "All of the owners are really pleased and trying to come on board."

Co-organizer Vicki Shafer agreed that the event gave city businesses a boost. "It brings in revenue for the city because you've got people in the hotels," she said. "We've got people down from Chicago and New York."

Bikers paid a sign-up fee that allowed them to ride through the city and compete in several challenges. And in their downtime, they could check out 19 different vendors that had set up in the park just for the event.

"We actually created a vendor crawl where the bikers have to stop at each vendor," Carney said. "So that way they get exposure."

Aaron Casey was one of many local bikers who decided to drop by and see what the event was about. "It seemed like a lot of fun ... I just like to ride" he said. "Thought I'd come down to check out some of the other bikes and have a beer."

Organizers hope it's the first of many years to come for the bike rally. For Charleston's sake, many attendees agree.

"I think it's very important what these young people are doing to try and keep this in the city," said biker Harry Carpenter. "You have Haddad Rivefront Park here which is the showcase of the city, so you couldn't ask for a better venue."

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