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May 21 marks 21st anniversary of Snohomish Motorcyle Show



The motorcycle show always brings out a variety of bikes.

SNOHOMISH — It’s the 21st on the 21st.
The motorcycles will rumble on historic First Street in downtown Snohomish on Sunday, May 21 for the 21st annual Motorcycle Show hosted by the Sky Valley chapter of ABATE.
The event’s free to the public, and the money raised from bike entry fees support the Snohomish Food Bank and Senior Center, as well as the Delta Rehabilitation Center.
One highlight is that the motorcycle stunt team The Seattle Cossacks are returning. The popular group — said to be the last of its kind — has been absent from some recent shows. They will perform at 1 p.m.
“That’s a big deal,” said Roger Hanson, deputy coordinator for Sky Valley ABATE, a motorcycle awareness and freedom group that stands for “A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments” with 23 chapters statewide.
Hanson estimates that about 10,000 people will come to Snohomish to watch the show, which is held every third Sunday of May.
“It’s really something,” he said.
There will be 22 categories for riders to enter, Hanson said, including antique/vintage (pre-1955), classic (1955-1975), custom trike, sport bike, radical custom, old school chopper, metric full dresser and many more. Judging starts at noon and the top-three trophies will be awarded around 3 p.m., he said.
People who want to enter a bike can register from 9 a.m. to noon at booths on either end of First Street. The cost is $15 to enter a motorcycle. It costs $150 for vendors to rent a 10-foot-by-10-foot space on a first-come basis.
Dean Ekloff, the retired pastor of Midnight Cry Church in Snohomish, has been a motorcycle rider for 60 of his 72 years and has attended all the shows, he said.
A member of Christian Crusaders Ministries, Ekloff said he was a former “town drunk” who was changed through his Christian faith. He now tries to help people from similar backgrounds — and that includes motorcycle lovers.
In previous years, Ekloff walked the streets of Snohomish doing ministry while the motorcycle show was in progress. This year he will work in a booth near the Oxford Tavern, helping leathersmith Teria Williams Huaracha sell her wares. Ekloff said he’s still willing to pray with people who need it—even at the booth.
“I’m just not walking the streets as much. I’m in a central location,” he said.
“All kinds of vendors” will be at the event, according to Hanson, including Emerald City Harley-Davidson, which will show off new motorcycles and leather goods.
The money raised goes back into the community.
One year, ABATE’s contribution allowed the Snohomish Community Food Bank to purchase 30,000 pounds of food in conjunction with a state assistance pro-gram, food bank director Elizabeth Grant said. These contributions are significant, she said.
“It’s really very kind and very community-minded,” Grant said.
Hanson and his wife Jan, the treasurer of Sky Valley ABATE, noted that many people, largely drawn from area motorcycle groups, volunteer to help with security, clean up and other services necessary to make the motorcycle show a success.
Sharon Burlison, the Snohomish Senior Center’s director, has attended several of the shows.
“The men in my family love motorcycles,” she said. “It’s just beautiful. I love what it brings to the town.”
Show coordinator Rod Hobelman was hard-pressed to pinpoint his one favorite memory from the past 20 motorcycle shows.
“There have been so many great shows,” he said.
All but two of the 20 shows have been held in Snohomish. One took place in Everett, and one in Sultan. The gap in the early 2010s happened after a battle with Snohomish’s former police chief over mandating extra show security measures at ABATE’s cost to allow putting on the show.
“We thank the city (of Snohomish) for working with us once again,” Hobelman said.

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