The LZ Veteran bikers are making their annual stop in Rainelle on Thursday (5/21/15).The bikers headed to Washington D.C. but many stop in Rainelle, and every time they do they’re treated like rock stars.
“People will surround the whole area. They’re lined up at the school on both sides and the kids are waiving their flags They can’t wait. They get autographs from all of the bikers and they’re well fed and then they have a program after they eat on the grounds of the school,” said Mayor Andrea Pendleton, mayor of Rainelle.
What started as a way to avoid the tolls in Charleston quickly became a tradition.
“They wanted to have the tolls prepaid at the Chelyan toll booth and they told them they couldn’t do that so they got off the got off the interstate and they traveled Route 60 and they came through town and were welcomed here with open arms and they’ve been coming back ever since,” said J.W. Puckett, secretary and treasurer of LZ Rainelle.
Several months ago residents were worried after rumors surfaced the bikers were no longer coming to Rainelle.
“Last three or four years we have heard rumors the event was over that they weren’t coming back because of this because of that, because of something else. It took very little checking to prove those rumors were unfounded,” said Puckett.
There will be events throughout the five days, including a memorial service for the fallen and still missing soldiers Friday night at the Veterans Memorial Park.
The bikers are expected to ride into town around noon. There will be a reception at 2 p.m. at Rainelle Elementary School. There will be a craft show on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Murbles Tournament, cupcake war and tasting contest and a parade at noon. The parade will start at Industrial Park. Saturday at 7 p.m. Cody Wickline is performing. In order to get into the concert you must bring a canned food item.
For more information on all the events over the holiday weekend visit http://www.rainelle-wv.com/.