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Rally on the River rolls on in August

The 2005 Rally on the River will soon be roaring into Ironton and organizers hope as many as 20,000 people will roll in with it.

Event planners are working hard to make sure this year's motorcycle rally and car show Aug. 18-21 has something to offer everyone from hardcore bikers to those who have never ridden a motorcycle.

Of course, bikers from all across the country will be able to have their fun at the event, sponsored by the Friends of Ironton, with self-guided rides throughout the Tri-State, a $1,000 poker run and a bike show at the primary site along Third Street.

Friends of Ironton co-founder and event organizer Rick Jansen has cast a wide net to promote the event since motorcycle events as large as the rally can pack in crowds from all across the country.

Last year, the event attracted between 4,000 and 5,000 people last year -

"People are looking for events like this, they just like getting out and riding their bikes and having a good time and the camaraderie that goes with it," Jansen said of the event he hopes will attract between 16,000 and 20,000 visitors. "It's just a lot of fun."

It is always fun meeting a group of newcomers to the area, but besides their smiling faces, out-of-towners can bring a lot of green to the region's businesses, he said.

"The economics are the big thing," Jansen said. "We're bringing people from all over the country, giving them a reason to come here. Between this and surrounding areas, it just supports the whole Tri-State area."

Ironton will welcome many bikers, but Jansen said the Rally on the River can be just as much fun for people without a bike.

"Absolutely, we've got music going from 6 o'clock Thursday to 6 o'clock Sunday. We've got the car show, the different food vendors, there's a lot actually going on," Jansen said.

While at the car show, racing fans will get a thrill as they see Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s racecar on display.

"Second Helping," a Lynard Skynard tribute band, will also be rocking the rally. Those who want to unwind with some tunes that are a little more laid back can check out acoustic guitarist Tuck Pence.

One of the attractions Jansen is anticipating the most is Team FMX, which will bring its explosive brand of freestyle motocross.

"I'm really looking forward to these extreme motocross guys doing their jumping," Jansen said. "It's really amazing what they can do."

If that is still not enough, Rally on the River will also include a pancake breakfast,

primitive camping and even biker games.

More information about all the fun is available at http://www.rallyontheriver.com.