Bumpy road for new North Carolina motorcycle rally

Publish Date: 
Apr 6, 2012

A new rally planned for Franklin, N.C., this summer is hitting a few bumps in the road, with organizers asking for a broader and longer Main Street shutdown, and city officials pushing back.

Promoter Scott Cochran has asked the city to expand a previously approved shutdown to four days, from the night of Aug. 16, through Aug. 19. He also requested the option of shutting down more blocks of the main thoroughfare if crowds warrant the expansion, according to the Smoky Mountain News.

Cochran has estimated up to 4,000 bikers could take part in the Smoky Mountain Rumble. Franklin’s population is 3,600.

Franklin’s Tourism Development Authority gave organizers $15,000 to launch the event, which they hope will bring in business for locals. But town leaders are concerned about organizers setting up a bandstand in front of a funeral home for the event, as well as safety concerns and what they fear are fluid parameters.

“This is not in the best interest of Franklin,” Alderman Bob Scott said. “Why are you just now coming before this town board, right now, when this has the potential of disrupting this town for three days?”

Further ruffling feathers, Cochran wants to put a bandstand outside a funeral home across the street from the Motor Company Grill, where visitors could buy alcoholic beverages. Officials believe shutting off music and clearing crowds in the event of a visitation or a funeral, as promised, would be easier said than done.

Alderman Sissy Pattillo supports the event.“We’ll never know until we go through this one time,” Pattillo said. “If we go through this one time and it doesn’t work, that’s it.”

Cochran has been asked to return with more detailed plans.

Posted by Holly Wagner

Like Dealernews’ Facebook page: