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Biker Nights Preview

Brian Hall, chairman of Awesome Biker Nights, poses for a photo ahead of this year's biker event in Sioux City on Wednesday.

SIOUX CITY -- As Awesome Biker Nights prepares for its 19th annual charity rally Thursday, organizers don't expect nearby construction to dampen the fun. 

Work on a new hotel atop of the parking lot of the Sioux City Convention Center has closed Virginia Street, but the motorcycle rally will carry on at Historic Fourth Street with minimal impact.

This year's concert headliners will include Grand Funk Railroad at the main stage and City of the Week at the Court Street stage on Saturday night. Friday night's headliners will be 35th and Taylor at the main stage and Jade Monkey on Court Street. 

Brian Hall

Hall

"With Grand Funk coming, that kind of hits all different ages," Awesome Biker Nights board chairman Brian Hall said. "It’s going to be an awesome show. I'm also really excited that 35th and Taylor are going to be headlining the main stage on Friday."

The annual motorcycle rally brings thousands to downtown Sioux City each year to enjoy multiple stages of live music from national and regional bands, a poker run, a bike parade, stunt riders, a poker tournament, a bike raffle and more.

Event wristbands will be available at Hy-Vee through noon Thursday. Wristbands cost $30 for the weekend or $20 for a single night. 

Hall said he has gauged high excitement for this year's slate of events through social media chatter and early wristband sales. 

"The bands have created a lot of buzz," he said. "So have some of the special events we have going on." 

All proceeds generated at the rally benefit charity organizations. Awesome Biker Nights has raised more than $1 million for charity since its inception. 

Charities benefiting from the proceeds of this year's rally will include Mid-Step Services, Sioux City Special Olympics, Crossroads Shelter for Homeless Women & Children, St. Florian Fire & Burn Foundation and Cosmopolitan Club.

If you're planning on attending the event, here's a look at what to expect.

Road construction

Construction at the site of the future Courtyard by Marriott Hotel at Fourth and Virginia streets means the intersection will be closed to traffic during the event, moving it slightly to the east. But there will be access to pedestrians coming from the west on Fourth Street, according to Dicon Construction, the company performing work at the intersection. 

The band stages will remain in the same locations as last year: on Court Street and on the lot across the street from the Marquee.  

Business access

Access to blocked-off Historic Fourth Street businesses for people not attending the rally is expected to be easier this year. 

Under a compromise reached earlier this year with some of the businesses, Awesome Biker Nights will provide an entrance at Third and Court streets for non-event attendees to access the businesses more easily without purchasing a wristband. All entrants only accessing businesses will be escorted by volunteers. 

Thursday night

Thursday will begin the festivities with a free kick-off party. A biker parade will start at 6 p.m.

A Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament at Rox & Rails will begin at 7 p.m. along with music from Lil' Red & Medicated Moose Band & Shawn Bloomburg.

Friday night

Friday night's entertainment starts at 5 p.m., with up to three events occurring simultaneously at various locations. Music at the main stage starts at 5 p.m. with Spencer Aspleaf, followed by Kings of Oblivion at 6:30, Canadian Stranger at 8, and 35th & Taylor at 10 p.m.

On the Court Street Stage, Stealing Mercury will start things off at 6:30, followed by Top Down at 8 and Jade Monkey at 10. 

Meanwhile, a motorcycle stunt team will perform on Court Street at 6 and 8 p.m., with motorcycle ramp jumpers performing at 7 and 9 p.m.

Saturday

Registration for the Poker Run will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the headquarters tent on Historic Fourth. Rooster's Harley Davidson will hold a free breakfast for all registered riders. The top five poker hands will receive more than $1,000 in cash cards. 

A bike show will also run Saturday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in the Heidman Law Firm parking lot at Fourth and Iowa streets. Registration is $15 and winners will receive cash prizes and trophies.  

Saturday entertainment kicks off at 5 p.m. on the main stage with Joe McArthy, followed by Port Nocturnal at 6:30, Calling Grace at 8 p.m. and Grand Funk Railroad at 10 p.m.. 

On Court Street stage, Showtime Karaoke Winner will perform at 6:30 p.m., followed by Diablo Sammich at 8 and City of the Weak at 10.

Meanwhile, the motorcycle stunt team and ramp jumpers will also be performing on Court Street. 

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City hall reporter

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