GALVESTON – Galveston has welcomed the Lone Star Rally since 2001. More than 400,000 motorcycle enthusiasts made their way to the island in one of the biggest motorcycle rallies in the country once again after the major event was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
“We’re so happy to be back. We want to thank the City of Galveston for having us back. Us not being here last year due to Covid was tough on the city,” Mark Gray, Lone Star Rally spokesperson, said. “The Lone Star Rally is back in full force...You really got to see it to believe it.”Motorcycles paraded Strand Street as far as the eye could see. Hundreds of thousands of people paying mind to local businesses and hundreds of vendors.
“Lone Star Rally stands for a lot of things. One is the return of festivals. We haven’t had them for a number of months because of Covid, so this is a great opportunity to welcome those back, it also is great for the economic impact,” Michael Woody, Galveston Island Chief Tourism Officer, said.
“We look forward to this every year,” Randon Landry, a biker from Texas City, said. “I was really worried that they were going to postpone it again, but here we are, we survived it.”
The 4-day event which runs from November 4-7, brings in more than $100 million to the local economy according to Woody. For many bikers, it’s a chance to share their passion with others.
“It’s a bonding between all of us that ride motorcycles,” Landry said.
“It’s our passion for riding the motorcycle, and I’ve been here for the past 10 years except for last year,” another attendee said. “Covid, lockdown...No bike riding... It was devastating for us because that’s what we do.”
Nancy Lopez came from Rio Grande City. It was a lot of riding.
“About 700 miles!” Lopez said.
However, organizers said, there is plenty to do.
“You can buy jewelry; you can buy some of the best seafood on the Gulf Coast; we have vendors everywhere,” Gray said.
It is business that local small business owners appreciate.
“The restaurant and hospitality business...we welcome it all!” Mike Dean, local business owner said. “I mean this is fantastic. We’ve been suffering for 18 months.”
Dean owns Yaga’s Cafe among other businesses in Galvestson.
“The Lone Star Rally alone pays for all of my bills in November,” Dean said.
Organizers expect that the turnout will be greater because they did not have the event last year.
The Lone Star Rally goes through Sunday.
More information: www.LoneStarRally.com