Expect to see a lot of leather and chrome downtown this weekend as the Ray Price Capital City Bikefest returns for its ninth year.
The motorcycle rally is the fourth weekend festival downtown this month, prompting city leaders to dub September’s line-up as the Raleigh M.A.I.N. Event. The ‘N’ in that acronym represents Bikefest – it stands for noise.
From Friday through Sunday, the event will take over Raleigh’s center with live music, stunt shows, contests and city blocks filled with nearly every kind of bike. The rally also has events like a tattoo contest at the Ray Price dealership on South Saunders Street.
And while bikers can enjoy prime parking for their hogs along Fayetteville Street, the festival also attracts non-riders.
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“It’s fun for everybody,” says Kris Weiss, a spokesman for the Ray Price Inc. dealership. “It’s not just for motorcycle enthusiasts. There’s all kinds of good, clean entertainment.”
The free festivities kick off Friday with the Parade of Lights. As the sun goes down, more than 100 motorcycles with colorful LED lights will make their way through downtown streets. Live music and other spectacles run downtown from noon to 11 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.
Sunday’s action takes place exclusively at the dealership from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
City leaders are hoping the M.A.I.N. Event cross-promotion effort will bring the motorcycle fans back downtown next week too. That’s when the World of Bluegrass event takes over the city center.