The second annual Thunder Run, the ultimate bike (motorcycle) rally, runs from Aug. 20-23, mostly at the Wallowa County Fairgrounds. The event is sponsored by The Stubborn Mule Steakhouse and Saloon in Joseph.
Stubborn Mule proprietor, Gary Bethscheider, is pleased with this year’s offerings of events. “This year we have four bands Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Blue Tattoo and Whiskey River are playing Saturday night. Whiskey River is a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band, and they’re really good,” Bethscheider said.
Bethscheider expects a quiet Aug. 20 with new arrivals and camp and vendor setups, with Friday ratcheting up the excitement, which includes the Bronze Bike parade from Joseph to Enterprise. The Bronze Bike is a built to scale bronze sculpture of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle by artist Dick Cross and cast by Parks Foundry of Enterprise. “Saturday we’ll have guided rides and biker games starting at 4 p.m. We’ll also have a lot of vendors in the grassy area,” Bethscheider said. Those age 21 and younger can enter the food and vendor area free of charge until 4 p.m.
A Show ’n’ Shine event of bikes is also planned for Saturday. Music will start at 5 p.m. with Blue Tattoo opening for Whiskey River, which starts at 10 p.m. Several raffles are scheduled, including a small bronze replica of the Bronze Bike and a Springfield .45-caliber 911 semi-automatic pistol.
Bethsheider said that despite pouring rain at last year’s event, about 900 bikers participated. “This year, the weather forecast is supposed to be nice. I’m hoping we can get a couple thousand this year or more,” he said.
Online ticket sales for the event have ended, but are available for purchase at the event. Tickets start at $10 and range up to $110 for a four-day VIP pass with amenities. For more ticket and other information and a schedule, check the Thunder Run website: www.wcthunderrun.com.