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Awesome Biker Nights 2017

A parade of motorcycles travels on Historic Fourth Street at the beginning of Awesome Biker Nights on June 15, 2017. The annual charitable rally will return to the Historic Fourth District in June after reaching a compromise with area business owners that had opposed its return.

Jim Lee, Sioux City Journal

SIOUX CITY | Organizers of Awesome Biker Nights have reached an apparent agreement with local businesses to bring the annual charity motorcycle rally back to Historic Fourth Street in June. 

The compromise comes after some businesses opposed the event's return because of the high participation costs and the loss of regular weekend customers due to street barriers making access difficult. 

As part of the terms, Awesome Biker Nights has agreed to reduce the business participation fee from $1,500 to $1,000 and look into whether it will reduce the number of its own competing beer tents. It will also provide a "non-event attendee entrance" on Court Street, where residents wishing to gain access to various businesses without paying an entry fee can be escorted to the establishment by event volunteers. 

To reduce its costs, Awesome Biker Nights is in discussion on whether it can cut the cost of required security at its event by paring down the hours or using donated deputy hours from the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office, according to city documents. 

Brian Hall


"We're working with all the businesses down there to be sure everybody's happy and satisfied," Awesome Biker Nights chairman Brian Hall said Thursday. "The people that come to Awesome Biker Nights, that's where they want to see it: Historic Fourth Street." 

The compromise comes after two meetings attended by the owners of M's on Fourth and SoHo Kitchen & Bar, along with staff from Downtown Partners and the city's Parks and Recreation Department. 

"We knew we could come to an agreement, we just had to have a meeting when there's issues and bring it to the table," Hall said. 

M's on Fourth and SoHo were among more than a half-dozen businesses that had opposed the event's return to Historic Fourth Street, submitting a letter stating they supported the event's work for charity but didn't want their street and storefronts blocked by the biker rally.

When the Awesome Biker Nights Committee brought the proposal for street closures along Historic Fourth to the City Council earlier this month, it faced opposition from the two businesses. The City Council deferred a vote for three weeks to give the organizers and businesses time to work out the problem. The council will reconsider the closures Monday.

During the meeting, SoHo owner Julie Schoenherr and M's on Fourth co-owner Dan Myers said there is only limited profit available from beer and snack sales inside the event confines because of smaller crowds and high competition from other vendors and Awesome Biker Nights' own beer tents.

Awesome Biker Nights has said the event depends on the fees, which it puts toward the security. 

Awesome Biker Nights street closure

The Awesome Biker Nights Committee is requesting the above street closures for the weekend of June 14-16 for its annual charity motorcycle rally. The areas in red will close Friday and Saturday, while the area in blue will be closed Thursday through Saturday. 

Schoenherr could not be reached for comment on the compromise Thursday. 

Hall said he's excited to bring the focus back to the event itself and for the upcoming announcement of the bands who will perform at the event. Awesome Biker Nights' 19th annual rally will run June 14-16.


City hall reporter

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