About 70 people were in attendance June 11 at the at the Ocean Shores Convention Center for a presentation on Hog Wild Ocean Shores. That’s the name of the new version of the traditional end of July motorcycle event at the beach, which is being produced for the first time by Convention Center staff, with a huge helping hand from several folks at Quinault Beach Resort and Casino, which will also host a variety of biker-related activities Friday through Sunday, July 26-28.
“There has been a motorcycle rally in Ocean Shores for more than 30 years, and when it looked like it may not happen this year when the promoter had to cancel, the city had to make a quick decision on what to do next” said Jon Martin, mayor pro tem and local businesses owner and operator.
Diane Solem, who left her City Council seat to become city marketing manager last fall and took on the additional job of Convention Center general manager the first of this month, said, “Several people stepped up to the plate and decided we need to make it happen.” After an early May meeting with local businesses, Mayor Crystal Dingler said, “The enthusiasm was great. Everyone was on board with making sure the festival continued and grew.”
Martin said the enthusiastic response — more than 30 local businesses are officially sponsoring the event in some way — “shows how Ocean Shores can pull together.” Solem called the situation an example of “the beauty of small towns — everybody will help everybody.”
Martin explained that, while “this is Ocean Shores’ event” and QBRC has its own event on the same dates, they have been “a valued partner in this. Their staff has worked endless hours to help make sure that all of the promotional materials look great. This was all done on some tough deadlines and we couldn’t have accomplished it without their support.”
Casino CEO Don Kajans has said he is happy for his company to help the city’s efforts and believes Grays Harbor could eventually become the “Sturgis of the Northwest,” with a week of events stretching across the county and drawing 20,000 or more motorcycle enthusiasts. That’s a reference to the Sturgis, S.D., motorcycle gathering that attracts tens of thousands every year.
Solem told the gathering last week that Convention Center operations manager George Lee has vendors signed up for 95 booth spaces, and the venue continues to accept applications from vendors. Detailed information is available at www.hogwildoceanshores.com.
She also said the motorcycle stunt teams, some of which have been appearing in Ocean Shores for more than 20 years, were thrilled to be coming back.
As in previous years, a Saturday morning bike parade will begin in Hoquiam and work its way to Ocean Shores. For those who love the lyric, “Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway,” there will be a poker run that goes up the coast to The Green Lantern in Copalis Beach, includes several Ocean Shores stops, and runs all the way around the Harbor to businesses in Westport.
The event also has a number of food vendors booked, a beer garden, music from Leon Harder, Dusty Mojo, DJ Abel and Stefan Roland & Working Class Heroes, and a variety of kids’ activities planned.