The streets of Kamloops will be roaring in mid-July when about 500 motorbikes arrive.
Kamloops will host the Western Regional HOG Rally July 13 to July 15, a Harley-Davidson event hosted in a different B.C. city each year.
Coordinator Margaret Thompson says people will be arriving from Western Canada and the USA and even a few Australians have booked a trip to the Tournament Capital.
“More women are riding now,” Thompson says. “I would say probably 500 bikes are coming.”
HOG stands for Harley Owners Group, and almost everyone who’s a part of the event will have their own. The rally will include a show and shine, a parade and other related events, with almost everything open to the public for free.
“We’ve got the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc powwow grounds,” she says. “All the public events will be there.”
The grounds will be the site of the show and shine, motorbike games and opening ceremonies and play host to a market place with vendors and food trucks. She’s hoping the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc will also have dancers join in in the opening ceremonies.
The Tk’emlups te Secwepemc powwow grounds, also known as the arbour grounds, are located on the bands land near the South Thompson River, highlighted on the following map. The location doesn’t show up on searches of Google maps.
The parade won’t march through downtown, but instead run from the Coast Hotel in Aberdeen to Chances Casino on the North Shore on Saturday, July 15. Drivers will see the bikes all over the region in mid-July as participants will ride down to Merritt and back on a poker run and up to Sun Peaks for a treasure hunt.
Thompson says they’re encouraging self-guided tours around the region as well and are working with Tourism Kamloops to show off the area.
“Tourism Kamloops has a great motorcycle book,” she says. “All our attendees will have them.”
While some people may have some reservations about hundreds of bikers coming to a small city, Thompson says attitudes have changed over the years, with much of the event dry.
“There’s no drinking on [Tk’emlups te Secwepemc] grounds,” she says. “It runs well with Harley-Davidson’s philosophy of no drinking when riding.”
Funds raised through the event will go to Muscular Dystrophy Canada.