OWOSSO — Organizers are hoping for a bigger-than-ever turnout for the 2021 Owosso Vintage Motorcycle Days, coming up on Aug. 27-28.
It’s the first major Owosso Main Street event since the COVID-19 pandemic started 18 months ago. Members of the OMS Vintage Motorcycle Days committee, all bike enthusiasts, are rooting for a big crowd that’s ready to party — and no rain.
“It’s a fun, great family event that brings the community together,” committee member Shawn Davis said. “It’s our first event since COVID, and we’re definitely excited about that.”
Owosso Vintage Motorcycle Days — a free event open to anyone — kicks off at 7 p.m. Aug. 27, a Friday, at Curwood Castle with a community ride around country roads, lasting about an hour. All brands and years of bikes are welcome.
The motorcycle show gears up at 3 p.m. Aug. 28, with bikes lining up along two blocks of Washington Street, just south of M-21, which will be closed to traffic. “Vintage” means 25 years or older.
Riders can register for free from 8 to 11 a.m. the day of the show. There will be 32 trophies — up from seven or eight in previous years — for the winners in original and restored categories of such awards as best of show, kids’ favorite, oldest motorcycle, and the longest distance traveled to come to the show.
Judging is at noon and the winners announced at 2:30 p.m.
New this year are motorcycle riding games for prizes, among them Slow Ride, where the winner is the last rider to cross the finish line.
In addition, a professional motorcyclist will give skills demonstrations, including the proper way to pick up a tipped-over bike and how to safely avoid obstacles. The pro will also entertain the crowd, for example navigating tight turns around construction cones set up on the road.
Thanks to a local dealership, the show will feature a stationary motorcycle bolted to a frame, giving anyone who wants a taste of what it’s like to ride a big bike. Attendees also have a shot at winning one of several giveaways.
If all of that isn’t enough, people who come to the show can take full advantage of Owosso’s new “social district,” allowing people to walk around outside — within the boundaries of the downtown district — with an adult beverage from Roma’s Backdoor, Niche or Lily Pearl’s.
“People can have a drink and browse the bikes as they walk through,” OMS Executive Director Josh Adams said.
In 2019, Owosso Vintage Motorcycle Days drew over 100 motorcycles.
“I expect a lot more this year,” planning committee member Ken Miller said. “We’ve got new sponsors, so we’re getting the word out more. We’d like to fill both of the blocks on Washington, and that’s probably 200 bikes.”
Sponsors include Vehicle City, Selleck & Sons, Mancino’s, Recreation Warehouse and many others.
A 1968 Suzuki Laredo set up at the entrance of Foster Coffee is helping to promote the event, as well as honor the late Ronald W. Durepo, a motorcycle enthusiast and fan of Owosso Vintage Motorcycle Days.