Red River, NM, welcomes bikers for 28th Memorial Day rally

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New Mexico is shaping up as a Memorial Day rally hot spot with plans for an estimated 20,000 bikers rolling into Red River for the 28th annual Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally May 28-31.

About 40 vendors from across the country are expected to set up for the even, which also features live music and food.

“We expect at least 20,000 people, but it can be anywhere between 20,000 and 30,000,” Rebecca Sanchez, of the Red River Chamber of Commerce, told the Sangre de Christo Chronicle. “Some people are making some long hauls. We get bikers coming from all over.”

As of May 17, much of the lodging in Red River was already booked solid and campgrounds around town were expected to swell with rally participants, the newspaper reported.

“People really love the area,” Sanchez says. “It’s nice, crisp, clean, and we try to be the friendly Red River we always are. I think that’s what brings them back.”

For 2010, organizers have put together a new fun run. “We were trying to get some kind of run back into rally because we haven’t been able to do it for a couple of years,” Sanchez says. The run is scheduled to leave Red River at 11 a.m. Saturday for a loop tour of the Enchanted Circle. A $5 registration fee buys riders a pin, patch, entry in a 50/50 cash drawing and some fast cash to be used at Taos Mountain Casino.

Monday, a caravan will climb over the hill to Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park. A flag march will take place at 9 a.m. as the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 318 from Albuquerque and other participants carry a giant American flag up the hill to the memorial.

The chamber is urging visitors to be prepared for unpredictable mountain weather.

“We normally have fairly good weather, but there is nothing we can do about it,” Sanchez says. Snow chilled festivities last year, but riders persevered, she says. “They still came out.”

Posted by Holly Wagner