Roar on the Shore motorcycle rally to not continue; board of directors announce cancelation

Local News

Organizers of a popular summertime attracting are calling it quits.

On Thursday, the board of directors for Roar on the Shore announced they have a reached a point in time where they will no longer hold Bike Week.

Roar on the Shore began back in 2007 as a way to promote the community and raise funds for local charities. The board of directors say there are a multitude of factors that played a role in their decision, but they did not go into detail.

State Street would usually be lined up with motorcycles during the five-day rally in July. You will no longer hear the massive roars from hundreds of engines.

“It helped expose Erie as a great place to come and visit, so it’s disappointing to hear that, but it is understandable.” said John Oliver, president of VisitErie.

In 2019, the rally was moved from downtown Erie to Lake Erie Speedway, with mixed reviews. It was suspended in 2020 after director Ralph Pontillo passed away and because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Obviously, it had a lot of positive economic impact to the community when they were here and we believe it also generated a lot of return visits.” Oliver said.

U Pick 6 Tap House is on the corner of 4th and State St, right where the stage is set up every year. Owner John Melody says he has mixed feelings about the news.

“It was not the same windfall here at the Tap House as, it was I believe, for other businesses, just because of the location and hard to get. We were kind of fenced off a little bit.” Melody said.

Melody is sad to see it go because of the money and people it brought downtown.

“What I think Roar on the Shore did for Erie is, for people to come here that have never been here before that, hopefully came back for another weekend or weekends throughout the summer and throughout the year. It has definitely put us on the map for a lot of people, so I am definitely sad to see that part of it go.” Melody said.

Organizers say the rally generated nearly $25 million in economic boost annually to the region.

Roar on the Shore also raised and donated about $1 million to local charitable organizations.

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