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Martinsburg Bike Night to close parts of downtown

Event will also cause some parking restrictions in area

August 23, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • With the streets of downtown Martinsburg closed off, bikes and riders showed up from all over to take part in the Martinsburg Bike Night sponsored by the Blue Knights of Martinsburg W.Va.
By Chris Tilley/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Parts of downtown Martinsburg will be closed to traffic beginning Saturday afternoon for Martinsburg Bike Night festivities, but parking restrictions will start at  7 a.m. in the 100 block of East Burke Street, city police said.

Registration for the annual motorcycle ride and rally begins at noon in the Berkeley Plaza shopping center parking lot along U.S. 11 north of Martinsburg and continues until 3:30 p.m., said K.C. Bohrer, president of the Blue Knights WV V, a law-enforcement motorcycle club.

The ride is set to begin about 4 p.m., with riders traveling through parts of Martinsburg, Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Sharpsburg and Boonsboro, Md., before returning to Martinsburg and parading into downtown, Bohrer said.

The $20 fee for riders includes a pin commemorating the 11th year of the event, which culminates with a downtown rally from about 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Bohrer said.

Proceeds benefit the Hospice of the Panhandle and other charities. The motorcycle club has donated more than $100,000 over the years, according to organizers.   

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Police said that the East Burke Street parking lot in the 100 block also will be off limits beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday to allow for staging of the event, which is sponsored by the Martinsburg-based chapter of the Blue Knights and Main Street Martinsburg.

At noon, no parking restrictions will be expanded to the 100 block of West Burke Street, police said. At 1 p.m., the restrictions will be expanded again, with no parking allowed in the 100 blocks of East and West Martin streets; the 100 and 200 blocks of North Queen Street; the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of South Queen Street; the 100 blocks of East and West King Street; and the 200 block of West King Street.

Vehicles remaining in these areas will be towed at the owner’s expense, police said.

Traffic is to be detoured from Queen Street onto Race Street at King and Queen streets after 1 p.m., police said.

The restrictions will remain in effect until 11 p.m., but Martinsburg police Maj. Tim Catlett said the downtown area might not be fully reopened to traffic until midnight to allow for cleanup work to be done.

The motorcycle ride and rally has attracted hundreds of riders each of the last 10 years, with even more people coming downtown to see the bikes parade into the city’s historic area, organizers said.

During the registration period this year, organizers are holding a “Baddest Bike” show and contest, with trophies and cash prizes given to the winners, Bohrer said.

Downtown festivities this year include entertainment by three bands, The J Factor, Freak Show and Break of Day, and there will be about 25 vendors and a larger beer garden than in years past, Bohrer said.

The West Virginia State Council Vietnam Veterans of America Mobile Wall will be on display for the first time in the Martinsburg area, Bohrer said. The memorial is for West Virginia’s Vietnam War veterans.

“We’re really happy to have that,” Bohrer said. 

More information about Martinsburg Bike Night festivities can be found at http://www.blueknightswvv.com/

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