Thursday, July 15, 2010
Biker rallies on go
By SUE WATSON
Andy McMillon and Charles Terry with the Holly Springs Main Street promotion committee have convinced the mayor and board of aldermen to close off North Center Street this summer on Thursday nights to promote the blues trail.
The rally begins at 6:30 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m.
Holly Springs has many motorcycle enthusiasts, including one alderman, one college president and many businessmen. They will likely participate in the celebration of the blues trail on the street where blues enthusiast David Caldwell has his famous collection of blues recordings at Aikei Pro’s on North Center Street.
Terry and McMillon said they want to hold a motorcycle rally every Thursday night from July 22 through the end of September. It will be a night out where motorcyclists can gather for fellowship, Terry said.
“Motorcycling has become a family-oriented thing and wives and children ride,” he said.
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry asked how a rally would benefit the city.
McMillon said it would first promote the city and bring attention to a town that needs promoting and to the area that is in need of cleaning up.
“The people who ride will be people like Dr. Beckley - not the show-off type,” he said. “There will not be a lot of noise and they will leave the place the way they found it.”
McMillon said the cyclists would visit the local restaurants like JB’s, Annie’s, Copper Kettle, Victor’s and Michael’s and their presence would help promote downtown.
“I went to Beale Street two weeks ago just to see,” he said. “These people spend a lot of money on motorcycles. We will have no activities at first but, hopefully, will do the blues festival later.”
The rally, dubbed “Hidden Treasures of Holly Springs,” will require that North Center Street be closed to traffic from College Avenue to Park Avenue and the north lane of College Avenue be closed. And it will require some portable restroom facilities and more garbage containers, he said.
DeBerry suggested the Tourism Bureau be asked to help rent the portable restrooms.
McMillon said Main Street would like to change attitudes about the area which has a reputation as a hangout. He suggested calling the area by its name - North Center Street - with hopes it would change the character of the area.
At some point a local bluesman may be invited to play on the street at one of the rallies.
“We want people to come out and help remove the stigma of North Center Street,” Terry said. “We would want the public to come out to look at the motorcycles and to support it.”
“I think it’s a good idea,” said the mayor.
“People from out of town do not know ‘the Alley’ by its reputation,” Terry explained.
“The Alley has history and was once an economic center as it relates to African American history,” DeBerry said. “I think the culture needs to be resurrected as a positive.”
The discussion ended, and the board of aldermen unanimously approved the blocking off of the area for weekly motorcycle rallies.
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