Posted: 12:00 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014


Motorcycle event to ride into Piqua this fall

By Nancy Bowman

Contributing Writer


A new event celebrating motorcycling history and community is scheduled to roar into town Sept. 19 and 20.

The concept for the Piqua BikeFest — One Hundred Years Later is based on local history, according to event organizers.

In September 1914, the Hemm Brothers Harley-Davidson on North Main Street, now home to Piqua Granite, hosted a picnic with food, games and a ride around the local countryside.

A commemorative photo of all participants and their motorcycles was taken that day. The Piqua BikeFest, now being planned, is promised to be a historic equivalent of that day, and more.

Plans so far include:

- A re-creation of the original picture on the site of the original picture

- A bike show and stunt riders

- Bands, food and vendors

Organizers emphasize the event will be for people of all ages and those with or without a motorcycle.

Activities are being planned for the city’s downtown and Gover Harley-Davidson on U.S. 36 east of Interstate 75.

Gover-Harley Davidson has been in the community more than a dozen years. Jim Gover Jr., owner, is BikeFest committee vice president.

Dean Lyman, a partner owner of Francis Office Supply downtown, is a BikeFest committee member.

“Losing the Heritage Festival this year was a disappointment, but Piqua BikeFest gives the community something new and exciting to look forward to,” Lyman said.

The event was announced just weeks after organizers of the annual Piqua Heritage Festival revealed that event was disbanding.

The Heritage Festival was held Labor Day Weekend since 1981. Organizers said a lack of funding and volunteers were the main reasons for the festival’s end.

Diana Thompson, executive director of the Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau, said the event is being planned as a community activity. “We’re thrilled,” she said of the concept and the planning so far. Organizers are reaching out to local clubs and organizations that might be interested in using the event as a fund-raising activity, she said.

As the new event takes shape, updates will be posted on the event Facebook page and website, For information about being a sponsor or vendor, contact Iron Cowboy Productions at 937-381-9389. For additional information or to volunteer, contact Jim Gover Jr. or Greg Foughty at Gover Harley-Davidson at 937-773-8733.


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