This past week was the rally in which Michigan residents come together for Ogemaw Hills Bike Week, and the following is a review of this prestigious and popular rally for bikers. The rally is held in West Branch and the residents there embrace the coming of the thunder of thousands of bikes, converging into their park for a week of bikes, beers, music, games and parades. This is a rally where one can enter to win a brand new Harley in support of Bikers 4 Kids, where all proceeds go to local underprivileged kids. From the minute the bikes enter the fairgrounds, they are greeted by volunteers and the organizers of the event. Ogemaw has hosted the rally for the last nine years, and it is a study in juggling and event planning like no other. Then entrance takes care of all campers, visitors, the vendors and the entertainment, and often seems chaotic, however it is run under the iron thumb of an amazing woman named Pat. Upon registering, many a biker has heard her name called over and over and she works un-godly hours without complaint.
This is the best rally in Northern Michigan and bikers do not just come out to party, they come out in support of many charitable organizations. This year those that were helped included the Ogemaw County Humane Society, Relay for Life, and the Wertz Warriors to name a few. The event organizers work year round to bring an incredible experience to all that attend, there are concerts each evening, and fireworks after the main act, which happened to be Pop Evil this year. Along with the music, they also coordinate biker games, such as slowest rider wins, and amazing stunt bikers as well. One can find food, accessories, clothes and tatoo’s and more in the vendor area, along with bike shows and a travelling bikes through history exhibit.
Sure they drink, and dance, and set up campsites packing the fairgrounds to capacity, however, they are the most respectful group, and visiting the campgrounds it is always clean and the people are always friendly. It gets a bit loud at night, but the volunteers make sure that everyone is of age to enter and that makes it a good all American camping party.
One of the events that this rally hosts every year is the parade through the town of West Branch, and it is clear to see that this small town embraces these bikers and welcomes them by lining the streets to check out the bikes themselves as well as greeting their riders. The parade starts at the campground entrance and seeing thousands of bikes lined up and ready to go is a sight to see. Some of the Harley’s are custom, and this is the place to not only get in quality people watching, but checking out the bikes is also a favorite thing for the festival goers to do. Attached are photo’s from the parade and a can’t miss photo, of a three-wheeler, but not a standard three-wheeler.
So riders unite at Ogemaw Hills Bike Week 2014, and reviews are nothing but positive, and next year will mark the 10-year anniversary of this event, and bikers everywhere will look forward to Bike Week 2015.
By Kristi Cereska