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Rally drives economy push

Now that the Rally on the River visitors have rolled into town, citizens need to roll out the red carpet.

In its sixth year, the music festival and motorcycle event has grown larger than ever, expected to attract more than 25,000 people over its four days.

Regardless of how you feel about the Rally, it is impossible to dispute that this festival does inject some gas into Ironton and Lawrence County’s economy, exactly as the Friends of Ironton intended when they founded the event. The grassroots civic organization has even passed up more money by not taking the Rally elsewhere.

If each person who rides into Ironton this weekend spends just $5, certainly a conservative estimate, the Rally will have brought more than $125,000 into town if the projected number of eventgoers holds true.

Hopefully, the businesses that stand to gain the most — bars, resaurants, gas stations, hotels — will remember this and give something back to the Friends and the community.

Today’s motorcycle enthusiasts are a long ways from the stereotypical “bikers” of the past. Many are lawyers, doctors, businessmen or women, bankers, salesman and more. They are often leaders of their community. They are simply visiting ours for a weekend of fun.

Of course, any time that many people gather in one place, there will be a few proverbial bad apples. But it is important we don’t let them spoil the bushel or the success this event has created over the years.

The Rally will be getting revved up and hopefully Ironton residents will too when they think about what this event means to the community.