by Jennifer Varner
There is nothing quite like an outdoor music festival. Sitting beneath a tree in the sun, beer in hand, listening to some great local music is practically a sport in our musically inclined city. On Memorial Day Weekend, May 24 and 25, you will have the opportunity to do just that when Realities For Children, a non-profit dedicated to providing for the needs of local children who have been abused or neglected, brings their Realities Ride & Rally, the World’s Largest Motorcycle Poker Run, to downtown Fort Collins.
Held this year at Washington Park, the Realities Ride & Rally presents an incredible line-up of local bands on the Thunder Mountain Main Stage, put together by Morris Beegle of MoBee Music, and will also feature a national headliner, Natalie Stovall & The Drive, who is being brought to town by K99 and was seen most recently at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas. All of the concerts are free and open to the public.
While the music is certainly in the spotlight during the Memorial Day weekend event, there are plenty of other forms of entertainment to check out as well. Monster Energy presents the Suicidal Lifestyles Motorcycle Stunt Show several times a day, Budweiser hosts two beer gardens, Hooters is having a ‘Nuclear Wing Eating Contest’, NoCo Tattoo Studio will once again present ‘Webb’s Colorfest Tattoo Competition’- which draws crowds from all over the state, Trials Martial Arts will be there all weekend long doing MMA demonstrations and exhibitions (including the “Punch A Pro” contest) and there will be plenty of food and merchandise vendors to explore.
Of course, what would a music festival be without VIP access to the concerts? For a $100 donation to the Realities For Children Emergency Fund, you can hang out like a star in the Qdoba and Tri City Cycle VIP tents, where the drinks flow freely and the food is restocked on demand. VIP concert guests also get access to the front of the Thunder Mountain Main Stage, an area reserved exclusively for VIP’s.
Perhaps one of the most loved activities during the weekend is the motorcycle poker run on Sunday morning, which features the Law Tigers 100 mile ride route and Tri-City Cycle Best Hand $1,500 cash prize. In 2013, over 3,000 motorcyclists participated in the run and officially broke the previous Guinness World Record of 518 participants. Those loyal riders went on to raise over $100,000 for local children who have been abused or neglected. During the run, which begins at Thunder Mountain Harley Davidson at 9am, riders visit three Official Ride Stops, including the High Country Motorsports Lunch Stop in Masonville. The lunch stop offers Hog Wild BBQ sandwiches, live music, a beer garden and a Fast Draw Exhibition. After lunch, riders continue along the route before ending in Washington Park and joining the rally. To participate in the run this year, you simply register online at www.RealitiesRide.com and make a $30 donation. Your registration includes a free breakfast burrito and Fort Collins Coffee House coffee, plus a commemorative t-shirt if you are in the first 500 to register. Pre-registered riders also receive a wristband good for vendor and beer discounts, and are entered to win twice as often for the Newstalgia Customs $5,000 Motorcycle Paint Job Giveaway and other prizes.
There is truly something for everyone at this community event where money is raised for children right here at home who are struggling with abuse and neglect in their personal lives. When you come down to the Realities Ride & Rally, you are supporting the effort to provide for these children’s needs while also experiencing great entertainment. If you’d like to learn more about the organization behind the Realities Ride & Rally, Realities for Children, you can visit them online at www.RealitiesForChildren.com. Find all of the event details, concert schedules, contest information, VIP tickets and Realities Ride registration options on the event website at www.RealitiesRide.com.
It’s time to rock with Realities Ride & Rally!