Rally’s growth needs attention

Published 10:32 am Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Any time a community has an event that brings in visitors to spend dollars, it should be welcomed because that kind of revenue is hard to come by.

The Rally on the River event is no different. Motorcycle fans came to Ironton last month to show off their rides and enjoy four days worth of entertainment.

Friends of Ironton President Rick Jansen recently told city leaders the event was a noticeable success and its growth is presenting some problems that need addressed.

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He said the number of participants in future years will require more police, more garbage pickup and a more structured approach to how vendors will be allowed to sell their food or merchandise during the event.

“The Rally blew up on us. We’re having some good growing pains,” Jansen told Ironton City Council last week. “It’s going to grow and grow fast.”

But in the middle of all that growth, there are some citizens who do not approve of some of the actions of our visitors.

Their concerns should not be blown out of proportion, but should not be dismissed either.

Everyone involved with the Rally on the River — from the city to the Friends of Ironton to the residents — should be in agreement that unlawful behavior will not be tolerated, no matter how much money is at stake for the city.

Jansen was wise to bring his concerns about the event’s growth to council now because the city will have a full year to prepare itself to make sure this event grows into something everyone can embrace.

If Jansen and the Friends of Ironton believe there needs to be more of a police presence for the event, the city should take that not only as good communication from the civic group, but a call to make sure this event continues to be one the city and its residents can support and be proud of.