Rally In the Valley

What started as a two-day fundraiser has now revved up to a full, six-days worth of motorcycle fun throughout the Valley. This year’s Rally in the Valley, featuring an extra day of fun, kicks off Tuesday, Aug. 19 with the Rally Warm Up event in the CUTCO/KA-bar’s parking lot. The two-hour gathering includes music, food, raffle prizes and the Commemorative CUTCO Rally knife.

“The new day is Wild HOG Wednesday at War Veteran’s Park,” Meme Krahe Yanetsko, Chief Operating Officer for the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce said, noting that Sparky’s Pizza will be catering and the band Steel Region will provide music.  “Another day gives us more time to raise funds for the charities benefitting from the Rally.  Charities include Home for Hospice, The Genesis House, the Olean Food Pantry, Olean Airport Support, Southern Tier Child Advocacy Center, Southern Tier Advanced Manufacturing Initiative (STAMI) and the Salvation Army. The event is run through the chamber, but we’re thankful for strong backing of the guys that helped start it - Don Benson, Randy Langdon, Dennis Jones and Dan Jordan - as well as the committee and 250 volunteers. It helps the chamber make the Rally a success for the charities.” 

Returning on Thursday night is Community Bank’s ‘Banking on a Good Time’ street dance, which takes place on Laurens Street between North Union and First Streets.  “We have had success with the street dance, so we decided to have another one for the fourth year in a row,” Yanetsko said. “We have line dancers, bands, bikers and music in the streets. It’s a great time to show off the bikes, and we also have a car show in the bank’s parking lot.”

Friday night features Olean Federal Credit Union’s Kickstart to the Rally, as well as ‘Tough Enough to Wear Pink Friday.’ Everyone participating in Friday’s events is encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness, and the chamber will have pink items for sale.

“The parade is also Friday night,” Yanetsko noted. “Anyone interested in participating will meet at the Olean Middle School parking lot around 5pm before we head to Bradner’s Stadium at 5:30pm. We probably have about 300 bikers riding as grand marshals for the parade.”

Everyone at the stadium Friday will enjoy a fun-filled lineup, including motorcycle judging, music, fireworks and the return of the Free Fall Oz parachutists.  “Everyone loved them when they came for the 10th anniversary,” Yanetsko said of the Shinglehouse-based team. “They fly from Shinglehouse into Bradner’s around 7pm where we have a landing area with paper plates scattered around the ground - our ‘Drop in on the Plate’ contest.  Participants who purchased $5 chances to win in the contest write their name on a plate, which is then placed on the ground.  As the parachutists land, they pick up the plate nearest to them. Whatever plate is chosen, the winner receives tickets for a Harley Davidson motorcycle, which is raffled off Sunday.”

But don’t forget to join the fun on Saturday, which features a street festival at the stadium with bike contests, bands, food and vendors from 11am-11pm as well as the Street Masters Car Show in War Veteran’s Park.

“I really enjoy the games on Saturday,” Yanetsko noted. “The skill the drivers have to have to maintain the lane for their passenger to put a tennis ball on a cone, or jousting, where riders pick up cylinders using a pole … you have to see it to appreciate it.  Our music also continues with three different bands on Saturday night. There’s different types of music throughout the Rally for everyone.”

Sunday, the last day of the Rally, begins with a dice run at 11am, sponsored by Leisure Time PowerSports, with over $2,000 in cash prizes awarded following the event. Musical guests, the Hootn’anges, will play from 2:30-5:30pm, and bikers will depart later in the day.

For more information on this year’s Rally in the Valley, call the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce at 716-372-4433, or email rally@oleanny.com. Additional information can be found on the Chamber’s website at www.oleanny.com.

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