By Debra Smith Herald Writer
EVERETT — Thousands of motorcyclists are expected to ride into downtown on Sunday to attend the Sky Valley Classic and Antique Motorcycle Show.
It’s the same popular show that drew as many as 22,000 riders from all over the region to Snohomish until last year.
The show begins at 9 a.m. with registration for people who want to enter their bikes and runs until 4 p.m.
The show is free for people who just want to ogle. There will be live music, plenty of classic rides as well as 50 vendors offering food and motorcycle merchandise.
The bike show will shut down a portion of Colby Avenue from Pacific to Everett avenues as well as portions of nearby side streets. Police will re-open streets by 5 p.m.
Organizers canceled the show last year after arguing with Snohomish police and city officials over how much they should pay for police services. Instead, the Sky Valley Chapter of the American Bikers Aimed Toward Education held a scaled-down version in Sultan in July.
The motorcycle group liked the reception they received in Sultan, but visitors had trouble getting on and off U.S. 2, said Rod Hobelman, a spokesman for Sky Valley ABATE. The small city also didn’t have much room for the show to grow.
It’s hard to know how many people will show up for the event, he said.
“We could get 5,000 or maybe it will be more like 15,000,” Hobelman said.
Councilman Ron Gipson began suggesting Everett as a possible location last year. The city offers easy access to bikers, wide streets and room for thousands.
Everett police initially rejected the group’s proposal and took the unusual step of bringing the matter to the City Council to sort out. Police were concerned about safety because motorcyclists not in the show and pedestrians would mix on closed-off streets.
Police eventually agreed to let show organizers close off an area for motorcycles to park “Sturgis style,” nose-to-nose down the center line.
“The city leadership has been all for us from the beginning,” Hobelman said.
The show’s organizers agreed to pay as much as $15,000 for police services. They could pay less if fewer people show up. The organizers agreed to hire 30 officers at overtime rates.
The city also chipped in $5,000 from its Lodging Tax Fund to help organizers pay for advertising and other costs.
“The response we’ve had has been quite positive,” Hobelman said.
Debra Smith: 425-339-3197, firstname.lastname@example.org
9 a.m. to noon: Bike show entry registration. $10 fee.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Band
Noon: Balloting begins; high school band
1 p.m.: Seattle Cossacks performance
1:30 p.m.: Balloting ends
3 p.m.: Trophy presentation and photos
4 p.m.: Show ends