MILLINOCKET, Maine — Hoping to draw crowds like the town received from hosting last year’s Maine State H.O.G. Rally, the Pelletier family of “American Loggers” TV fame is holding its own motorcycle rally this weekend, family members said Wednesday.
Pelletier Loggers Family Restaurant Bar and Grill will host Millinocket Bikers Weekend, closing its end of Penobscot Avenue for much of the event and offering organized motorcycle runs through the Katahdin region and farther north and west, restaurant co-owner Eldon Pelletier said.
The H.O.G. rally drew rave reviews and 744 registered Maine State Harley Owners Group members out of more than 1,000 attendees. Pelletier said he hoped that the good time offered by last year’s event would draw many bikers — and not just Harley-Davidson owners — to this weekend’s rally.
“The H.O.G. rally brought home that idea, that thinking that we can have motorcycles in town just to have a good weekend, and people coming here and enjoying what Millinocket has to offer — businesses, motels and restaurants, and the beauty of the mountain,” Pelletier said Wednesday.
But Pelletier is quick to add that this year’s event won’t feature rides on the privately owned Golden Road, Maine’s primary conduit for loggers into the continent’s largest tract of contiguous forests. Nor does Pelletier know how many people will come.
“I have no idea,” he said.
Stars of the Discovery Channel television show will organize and lead runs from the restaurant along Grindstone Road and into Sherman, Patten and Benedicta, where views of Mount Katahdin, as well as some of the other gorgeous scenery of the Katahdin region, will be readily available.
Other rides will run through Milo and Brownville and perhaps along Interstate 95 into Howland, Pelletier said. Any sort of road-registered motorcycle is welcome.
The event will start at 4 p.m. Friday and feature live music, a Bangor Harley-Davidson dealership selling goods and sidewalk sales of food and goods from downtown merchants before it ends with events on Sunday, Pelletier said.
A NASCAR racing car will also visit the event, he said.
Held at Millinocket Regional Airport and River Drivers’ Restaurant at the New England Outdoors Center, the three-day H.O.G. rally was viewed by town officials as a tremendous success, drawing double the number that came to the 2008 Maine State Harley Owners’ Group rally in Westbrook.
Town officials have expressed hope that Millinocket will be chosen to host the 2011 H.O.G. rally.