Bikefest off to a good start

Published 2:02 pm Friday, September 16, 2011

BIKEFEST VOLUNTEERS Macon Moore, Tony “Too Tall” Gibson and his wife, Jennifer Gibson show off the Bikefest-themed quilt that “Too Tall” sews each year to help raise money for charity. A raffle drawing for the quilt will be held on Saturday night at Bikefest.

Plenty of bikers are in town for the 2011 Bainbridge Bikefest, which started Wednesday and will wrap up Sunday morning.

Some local businesses displayed signs welcoming the bikers, some of whom are staying in local motels and others who are camping out on the Bikefest grounds off Pondtown Road.

After two nights of music on Wednesday and Thursday, more bikers could be seen around town on Friday, which is traditionally when larger crowds begin to gather.

Tony “Too Tall” Gibson, one of Bikefest’s most active volunteers, was busy emceeing a series of games and field events shortly after noon Friday.

“It’s all about having fun and meeting new people,” said Gibson, who was handing out a number of door prizes, ranging from T-shirts to free food and drinks from Bikefest vendors.

IN ONE OF BIKEFEST’S FIELD GAMES, held on Friday and also on Saturday, men drove their motorcycle past a series of traffic cones while their wives or girlfriends reached out to grab tennis balls placed on top of the cones; on the return trip, the ladies had to put the balls back atop the cones.

In one of the contests, men tried their hardest to pick up an iron ball weighing 57 pounds, using only their palms. The prize for the winner was $100, but no one was able to claim it on Friday.

In another contest, men drove their motorcycle past a series of traffic cones while their wives or girlfriends reached out to grab tennis balls placed on top of the cones. On the way back to the starting line, the ladies had to put the tennis balls back on the cones without letting them fall off.

Gibson was also showing off the latest in a series of Bikefest-themed quilts he sews each year to help raise money for charity. Bikefest volunteers are selling raffle tickets for a chance to win the quilt for $1 each; the drawing for the quilt will take place around 10:30 p.m. Saturday night on the Bikefest stage.

Event schedule

Today, some of Bikefest’s activities will be held at the Charter House Inn off U.S. 27 South.

Registration for the Bike Show begins at 8 a.m., while judging will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Registration for games and field events will be held at 11:30 a.m. near the stage on the Bikefest grounds; games and field events will begin at noon.

The Gulf Wind Band will also be entertaining the crowd at the Charter House.

Registration for the Poker Run will begin at 11:30 a.m.; the first bike out on the Poker Run will leave the Charter House at 12:30 p.m. The last bike out on the Poker Run will leave at 2 p.m.; the last bike in will be at 4 p.m. at Big Jim’s restaurant off Georgia 253 South.

Saturday night’s music lineup kicks off with Stormy Monday taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. Up-and-coming country singer Joanna Smith will follow at 9 p.m. The LoCash Cowboys will close out the night’s concerts when they take the stage at 11 p.m.

On Sunday morning, the Christian Motorcyclists’ Association will hold a church service at 9:30 a.m. on the Bikefest Stage.

Sheriff’s deputies and Emergency Medical Service personnel have set up tents at Bikefest in an effort to make Bikefest as safe as possible.