Laconia Motorcycle Week is back full throttle
LACONIA, N.H. (BIKER DAD)–Laconia Motorcycle Week is back full throttle. One of America’s favorite motorcycle rallies will be operating as normal for the first time since COVID-19. The rally starts Saturday June 12. And it runs until June 20th.
The rally is celebrating its 98th year and organizers say, “if riding is your pleasure then we hope you’ll be joining us for Laconia Motorcycle Week in 2020 because In Laconia… We Ride! “
Laconia is the oldest motorcycle rally in the world and the second largest according to its website, “with the 2nd largest demographic of motorcycle riders in the country and host to the oldest Rally in the country, NH opens its doors to motorcycle enthusiasts all year long!”
Organizers also say that the beautiful scenery is enough reason to make the trek, “Although our legacy as the World’s Oldest Motorcycle Rally “is because our gypsy tour began in 1916, our legacy continues because of our unmatched scenic riding throughout the beautiful State of New Hampshire. Residents and businesses alike, welcome motorcyclists during the Rally every year in June.”
there is still a border shut-down to the north. As a result Canadian riders won’t be able to make the ride. But organizers believe this year will be close to normal. That’s according to the Union Leader. The newspaper says rally organizers as well as state and local officials said Bike Week 2021 is poised to represent a return to “normal.”
Rally FAQ from LaconiaMCWeek.com
Q: When is this year’s Rally – doesn’t it always end on Father’s Day?
A: This year’s rally is the 98th Anniversary and will be held from June 12th – 20th, 2021. The Rally encompasses the 2nd and 3rd FULL weekends in June. When June 1st falls on a Sunday, which only rarely happens, the rally dates are pushed back and will begin on Father’s Day Weekend. The next time June 1st falls on a Sunday is 2025, which means the dates will June 14th-22nd and Father’s Day, which is always the 3rd Sunday in June, will be held on June 15th of that year.
Q: When was the first year of the Rally?
A: Laconia Motorcycle Week began as a gypsy tour in 1916 and sanctioned racing events officially began in 1938. The rally is not considered an “Annual” event because it was not held for 7 times due to national/world events such as the Great Depression, WWII, etc. This is the reason we are only at the 96th anniversary and why some people mistakenly believe the Rally began in 1923. In 2017, the American Motorcyclist Association officially recognized Laconia Motorcycle Week as the oldest national gypsy tour in the country. A great resource for photographic history of the Rally can be found with the book, Images of America: Laconia Motorcycle Week, available for purchase here: https://laconiamcweek.com/rally-store/
Q: Where should I stay?
A: The official hotel of the Rally is the Naswa Resort located right in the heart of Weirs Beach. In addition to the Naswa, there are a TON of options for lodging for the Rally and because the State of NH is geographically small, the options are literally all around the State. Tourism is our 2nd leading industry in the State of NH so we have a lot of options including motels/hotels, condos, bed/breakfast, campground, and private homes. We definitely suggest looking through the all of the lodging listings available on the Official Rally Website https://laconiamcweek.com/lodgingcamping/ because everyone’s personal preferences for price, amenities, location, etc. are very different. We typically recommend that people use the Laconia Rally News magazine to read up on different events occurring throughout the Rally – this will help you get a ‘lay of the land’ and also determine what areas you will be most interested in staying near. The Laconia Rally News is available for Free via mail or download from our website: https://laconiamcweek.com/rally-news/.
DETAILED LODGING INFO: Below is some general information that may help you narrow your search for lodging:
Weirs Beach, within the City of Laconia, is the ‘ground zero’ area of the rally and is where a majority, though not all, vendors and entertainment is located. Daily Gypsy Tours (guided motorcycle scenic rides) also leave from Rally Headquarters, which is located right in Weirs Beach on Lakeside Ave. Laconia is in the “Lakes Region” (Belknap County) and there are hundreds of options for lodging from hotels/motels, to campgrounds, to condos, to private homes.
In the Weirs Beach area, we would recommend looking into the full list on our website but also specifically our Rally Patrons and the following places: The Naswa Resort, The Half Moon Motel, Cozy Inn and Cottages, Sun Valley Cottages, Gunstock Inn, and the Lazy E Motor Inn. For condos: The Summit Resort or Village at Winnipesaukee. For Camping: NH Motor Speedway is less than 20 miles away and is very inexpensive with LOTS of options – plus you’ll be camping right at the heart of racing action! Pine Hollow Campground is right in Weirs Beach and is one of the closest locations for camping in Weirs Beach. There are dozens of options on the only Official Rally Lodging List: https://laconiamcweek.com/lodgingcamping/
Some people may choose to find a place a little further away – 30mns+ because it is often lower rates and greater availability of options. The areas around the Lakes Region are also quite scenic including the White Mountain and Seacoast area. It all just depends on what you’re looking for. There is very little public transportation available in NH but we do certainly have taxis available, if needed. At peak times of the Rally, there is also a shuttle train service that runs between Weirs Beach and Meredith – this is a great way to beat the traffic!
In general, we recommend looking at the full list of lodging for all regions so you know all your options. https://laconiamcweek.com/lodgingcamping/ Just click on each region to see the full list. The list on the Official Website is not all-inclusive for all properties throughout the area and State; it is an advertised list that businesses pay to be a part of. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, feel free to contact us for advice on which place might suit you the best.
Other tourism sites also have great resources: Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, Visit NH, and Lakes Region Tourism Association.
Q: If I can’t come for the whole week, when is the best time to be there?
A: The best time to enjoy the Rally is really a personal choice – some people’s preference is to avoid busiest days to take advantage of great riding with less traffic and others prefer the action and street-scene of a lot of people. We usually tell people to make their decisions based on which events they want to take part in. The first weekend and Mid-week has the best lodging rates. The first weekend is nice because you can enjoy both Saturday and Sunday and although the final weekend tends to be quite busy – it is very congested and Sunday is usually a break-down day. The full schedule of events is updated regularly and can be found on the Official Rally Website: https://laconiamcweek.com/schedule-of-events/
Q: Who handles booking entertainment/employment/vendors?
A: The Laconia Motorcycle Week Association is the promotional, non-profit organization that is charged with marketing the Rally to entice visitors to spend their vacation with us. Although we do not handle arrangements for any type of entertainment (music, stunt shows, etc.) or employment for the Rally, we do try to help direct people to the right places.
Booking Entertainment: If you are looking to get your band or entertainment act booked or if you’re looking to be hired for the week as staff, you need to contact individual property owners that are hosting events, music, or that have entertainment/beer tents. Although it’s not a fully-exhausted list, we do have much of the contact information for many of the area property owners and ‘hot-spots’ on our website under vendor information: https://laconiamcweek.com/vendor-information/
Vendors: For those interested in being a vendor during the Rally, we recommend contacting the City of Laconia’s licensing department (603-528-6331) to request a vendor packet. If vending in the City of Laconia, you will need to find a property owner to rent space from (see https://laconiamcweek.com/vendor-information/) and then file a permit for the City of Laconia to operation. The base price for a permit to the City of Laconia is $450 for the 9 days of the Rally. This price can increase depending on if you want to include more than one location, a loud speaker permit or if you’re a food vendor. The permit price is less for non-profits. The typical rental price is $100 per square foot though this price will vary widely from one property owner to the next. We recommend researching different locations and amenities before deciding. There are areas outside of Laconia that rent space for vendors such as Hart’s Turkey Farm in Meredith, NH and the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. If you’re interested in these locations, you should contact them directly.
Q:What’s the weather like?
A: The Rally, occurring in June, is before the official start of summer. This means you should expect typical New England spring weather. What ‘typical’ is changes from one year to the next. Don’t rely on weather predictions – if you’re planning a last minute trip to the Rally, feel free to call us and we’ll let you know how the weather is. We typically tell people to be prepared for chilly rain because it’s New England – in the spring… The last year we have very heavy days of rain was in 2013, the years on either side of that were warm and sunny. Your guess is as good as ours…
Q: What is there to do?
A: A lot! There are dozens of events scattered throughout the State of NH especially for motorcycle enthusiasts. Daily scenic rides (Gypsy Tours) leave from Rally Headquarters on Lakeside Avenue in Weirs Beach. There is a wide variety races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the Vintage Races & American Flat Track Races during the first weekend and the Loudon Classic Super Bike Races during the 2nd weekend. We also invite riders to join us on Monday evening aboard the M/S Mount Washington for a cruise around Lake Winnipesaukee for a view that you can’t really get on 2-wheels. We also encourage the brave to ride up the Mount Washington, the highest elevation in the northeast. For those that don’t want to ride up the Auto Road, shuttle busses are available as well as the Cog Railway. There’s a HillClimb exposition up Tower Street in Weirs Beach on Tuesday, leading up to the big AMA-Sanctioned HillClimb on Wednesday at Gunstock Mountain Resort. In addition, there are charity rides, motorcycle-skill contests, bike shows and build-offs, and more! For a detailed schedule of events, go to the Official Rally Website and view each day’s schedule: https://laconiamcweek.com/schedule-of-events/ . Additional details on many events are also in the Laconia Rally News, which is available for free download at: https://laconiamcweek.com/rally-news/
Q: What are the future dates?
A: Future Rally Dates:
98th Anniversary: June 12th-20th, 2021
99th Anniversary: June 11th- 19th, 2022
100th Anniversary: June 10th- 18th, 2023
If you need more information, please email email@example.com or call us at 603-366-2000.