Sunshine and crowds forecast for Motorcycle Week

Staff Report June 11. 2014 10:11PM

LACONIA — Thousands of motorcyclists will be arriving here for the 91st Motorcycle Week, which officially begins Saturday.

With a 10-day weather forecast that calls for temperatures in the high 70s and 80s, and only a minimal possibility of rain on most days, merchants and lodging owners are expecting a profitable week.

Wednesday afternoon, Karmen Gifford, executive director of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, said she was emailing all her lodging members to see if they had any space left.

Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, is optimistic that turnout will be high.

While there will be lots of partying and showing off, informally and at events like the new Burnout Competition at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, St. Clair said this is also a charitable crowd.

There’s a fundraising ride called the Mae West Run, to benefit the Laconia Animal Shelter. It’s in honor of St. Clair’s beloved cat, who died last year.

Another ride, the 8th Peter Makris Memorial Run, will include collector Bourget Custom Motorcycles.

That ride benefits the Laconia Fire Department and the Easter Seals NH Veterans Count program.

There is a women’s appreciation ride to benefit organizations such as New Beginnings, St. Clair said.

“The motorcyclists are very generous,” he said.

St. Clair said there will be a big Indian Motorcycle presence at motorcycle week. There’s a tribute to the Indian Chief at the American Police Motorcycle Museum in Meredith, which covers the years 1922 to 2014.

The Indian Motorcycle Demo Tour will be at the Gilford Airport Plaza all week.

Laconia Police Chief Chris Adams wouldn’t say how many officers will be on duty from his department, seven or eight other police departments and state police.

He said he doesn’t expect any significant trouble, but he is prepared.

“We don’t become complacent,” he said. “We’ve taken all the precautions.”

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