FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2020
A.B.A.T.E. of Alaska Works to Create an Alternative to the 2020 Gathering at the Bike Blessing Event
All Anchorage outdoor city facilities and permits canceled through 2020, including the downtown park strip location for the annual Gathering and Bike Blessing.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – With spring in the air and the fast approach of the first weekend in May, organizers of the state’s largest motorcycle gathering have been closely monitoring government mandates for public gatherings. Until the status of city permits and public events officially prevented the gathering, organizers hesitated halting plans. Now, with official word that all outdoor facility permits are canceled indefinitely, the group is actively working to produce an alternative for the motorcycle community.
“I’m sure everyone has been aware that things may not move forward in the way we want them to due to COVID-19. All of us on the planning committee have had to make adjustments in our personal and professional lives just like everyone else,” said Dave “Big Dave Grizzly” Monroe, A.B.A.T.E. of Alaska board member. “We’ve continued to hold our planning meetings and at every meeting we discussed this “what if”. Now that we know for sure it’s not possible to have the event on the park strip, we’re actively working on a plan B.”
While an alternative is yet to be determined, a Facebook live announcement is scheduled for April 18th at 2pm. This date and announcement were set prior to the official news from the city in anticipation of public questions about the status of the event. Motorcycle riders and The Gathering at the Bike Blessing vendors are encouraged to tune in to ask questions and get the latest information regarding the next steps.
During the last planning meeting on March 30th, which was conducted via video conference, organizers examined the fundamentals of the Annual Bike Blessing and Gathering. “The Gathering at the Bike Blessing means different things to different people, but we were able to identify some key elements. Those elements include, prayers and well wishes for a safe season and a message to the public that motorcycles are officially on the roads,” said Event Coordinator Sarah Coe. “We identified about five major themes as we look at what we can do for the riding community while staying in compliance with the hunker down order.”
As for immediate steps, the group is offering full refunds upon request for sponsors and vendors who have already paid a fee for the 2020 event. Since A.B.A.T.E. of Alaska is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, any funds vendors or the public wishes to donate are still greatly appreciated. We will continue to advocate for your motorcycle rights, training, and education. For more information about vendor and sponsorship refunds, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The group expresses their gratitude for continued patience as they process the requests.
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month
A final message from the organizers: We will get through this as a community. We encourage riders to follow all federal, state, and local regulations regarding social distancing, hunkering down and protecting our community during the COVID -19 pandemic. The riding community is a very close and strong one. Remember to virtually check in on one another, look for ways to support your community during these difficult times, and when the time comes, keep the shiny side up and rubber side down.
A.B.A.T.E. of Alaska, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that depends on your donations and support to continue to operate. We are a 100% volunteer organization who depends upon you, our members, to get our work done and meet our goals.
For 25 years our mission has been to promote the rider education, safety, and training program. In addition, we work to increase public motorcycle awareness, and help protect motorcycle rights for the riding community.
Ken Coston, President
A.B.A.T.E. of Alaska, Inc.
Dave “Big Dave Grizzly” Monroe, Board Member (Chair)
A.B.A.T.E. of Alaska, Inc.