Archived Story

Rally vital to Ro-Na restoration

Published 11:18am Friday, August 16, 2013

Rally on the River got rolling Thursday and will really get its motor running today and Saturday as the event marks its 10th year.

Thousands of people are expected to cruise into Ironton, Lawrence County and the entire Tri-State over the weekend as the event put on by the Friends of Ironton community organization hopes to draw people into the city to spend money, have a good time and raise funds for the Ro-Na Restoration.

Although the rally isn’t for everyone, it does achieve those goals. Without the Friends,the Ro-Na would likely still be sitting and decaying as it had for more than a decade.

So, in the end, some minor traffic disruptions and extra noise from music and motorcycles for three days is a relatively small price to pay for the ongoing restoration of the theater that served the community well for decades and can do so once again.

But the rally certainly shouldn’t be considered a free pass to break the law. Most eventgoers understand it is possible to have a good time yet still be safe and act like upstanding citizens. The Ironton Police Department has to cite those who make our roads or community unsafe.

Being responsible and having fun are not mutually exclusive. Both can be accomplished.

Ironton businesses need to take advantage of increased traffic by putting their proverbial best foot forward.

As Ironton’s iron tunes retail, restaurant, and lodging opportunities grow in coming years the rally and events like it could ultimately have a huge impact on the community.

Citizens should look at everything the rally offers and find the entertainment or event that suits their tastes.

If everyone comes together, Rally on the River can benefit the entire community.

  • jonferguson

    Great points. Now which of you commenters will step up and undertake the tasks required to start up a regatta?
    Be the change you want to see. Don’t expect others to make your changes.

    (Report comment)

  • 79Tiger

    Bravo Swampcreature. I have no beef against the rally but there are three months in the summer and the city can accomodate the rally and regatta. The rally tends to be an adult affair and the Regatta is more family friendly. Even the bikers can enjoy the regatta if they choose to but not many families can share in the rally festivities. Good things are happening in Ironto along with Gus Macker, why not a Regatta in June before Summer Motion in Ashland in July with the Rally in August?

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    swampcreature; There is much merit in your comment. I have fond memories of the Regatta.

    (Report comment)

  • swampcreature

    As a person having a motorcycle endorsement for many decades, I know the enjoyment of riding a cycle. However, this event is more of a wild party than anything else.

    After TEN years of this rally, Ironton has not been transformed by all this so-called, rally money. City is still struggling in nearly every manner. City has lost several retail stores in that same decade.

    The rally is what it is, and there is no need to try to label it as a potential savior for the community. I can live with it, but I can also live without it. I do feel sorry for the unfortunate residents living near the rally’s hot spots.

    Other than excessive noise, public drunkenness and some debauchery, what does the average resident get out of the rally? Why don’t the Friends shelve this biker drunkfest and bring back the Regatta? The Regatta had something for every resident. Its music was geared for a mainstream audience. Rides were put up for kids. Older people could get some great food and listen to some German music under the tent. The boat races brought in thousands of visitors during the middle of the day. It was a first-class event with something for all residents.

    (Report comment)

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