Rallyers roll into Ironton today

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 13, 2004

This weekend's Rally on the River looks to be so big, organizers have had to get special permission to use a part of the former Ironton Iron site.

And in recent days volunteers with the Friends of Ironton, the group organizing the rally, have been working to clean up the areas to be used for the event that organizers hope attracts more than 2,000 people.

"We've picked up over 400 bags of trash from Coal Grove down Third (Street) to the Hanging Rock exit," said Rick McKnight, co-founder of the Friends group. "We had everybody out working. We've unplugged some storm drains, picked up trash, everything."

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All of their work created lots of interest among passers-by.

"A lot of people pulled over and said, 'Thanks,'" McKnight said.

"A few of them said, 'Hey, are you guys working off your fines?'" he said, laughing.

The point of all of their work was to help the city put its best foot forward for the out-of-town motorcycle enthusiasts the group expects.

"We want people to come to downtown Ironton and shop our businesses," McKnight said. "We'll have T-shirts for sale, too, at the welcome center."

The welcome center will be at Park and Second streets, near the old Depot. T-shirts are $15 apiece and are available in several colors.

"Any money we make will go right back to the city," McKnight said.

The Friends of Ironton is a community improvement group consisting of volunteers.

Saturday evening, at approximately 8 p.m., the event will feature a parade of heroes. A group of current and former military servants along with local fire and police personnel will lead a group of motorcycles down Third Street from Coal Grove into downtown.

"We want to encourage people to line the streets for the parade," McKnight said.

Beginning tonight and continuing through Sunday, the Rally on the River features a motorcycle show, a car show, live entertainment downtown, two motorcycle poker runs and more.