Special event

The rumble and the roar

Red River gets ready for annual Memorial Day Weekend Motorcycle Rally


The Enchanted Circle roars with thunder as more than 20,000 bikers from all over the country get set to rally on Red River’s Main Street this weekend for a military memorial extravaganza and alt-biker cult revival.

Offically starting Friday (May 26), live music is all over town all weekend, practically from dawn to midnight, and vendors offer everything from leather and lace to tats, tunes, food and fun.

“Kickstands Up!” at noon on Saturday (May 27) as popular KOB-TV weatherman Steve Stucker heads out for his seventh Rally In The Valley (his nonprofit benefit to provide beds for underserved kids). Starting on Main Street, the ride will be escorted front and back by New Mexico State Police, as it provides a breathtaking tour of Rocky Mountain sights – Bobcat Pass, Moreno Valley, Cimarron Canyon State Park and Eagle Nest Lake, with a stop at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire for a Frito Pie lunch (details at eventbrite.com/e/steve-stuckers-rally-in-the-valley-2017-tickets-32820047646).

New this year is the huge crowd pleaser Busted Knuckles Stunt Team of Harley Davidson & Co. These rowdy riders are barely recognizable under the tattoo zoos covering their skin, but they are sure to thrill with acrobatic flames and games on the newly paved municipal lot, refinished by the town to keep everyone safe and sound during their twice-daily “gnarliesque” devilry, Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 and 5 p.m.

Now all grown up, this 35th annual Red River Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally is high-profiling its original intent of honoring the military and their families, who give their all for home and country.

The local veterans groups, Not Forgotten Outreach, Inc. and Don Fernández de Taos VFW Post 3259, are organizing an “incredible display of Military Memorabilia at the rally this year,” according to VFW’s Chaplin, Don Peters, including displays and history from “America’s 1st Green Berets in 1756 to our most recent conflicts.”

Don’t be surprised if you see a young person in an 1813 Johnson’s Volunteer Cavalry uniform walking Red River’s Main Street this weekend, Peters said, as some of the historic uniforms may be worn by Americorp members or other volunteers, depending on how well-fitting the outfits may be. The display and veterans’ military history booth are all located inside the Red River Conference Center this year, part of the town’s commitment to shifting emphasis of the rally to strongly memorializing the military.

“The town has given us free space in the past and now this year they put us inside to protect the uniforms from the elements.” When you go in, say hi to Chaplin Peters, he’s the happy guy “with a long braid in a wheelchair.”

This year a Flag Retirement Service and Ceremony, conducted by Vietnam Veteran Allen “Dutch” Shultis, is planned Saturday at 11 a.m., presented by the Town of Red River with VFW Post 3259 Honor Guard in Brandenberg Park. The ceremony will “properly dispose” of about 25 worn and tattered U.S. flags.” Peters said anyone can bring a flag to be included in the ceremonial disposal. The event includes a Color Guard Ceremony, flag presentation, the national anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, the Flag Retirement Ceremony, a 21-gun salute and “Taps.”

Throughout the weekend, expect music from every quarter, biker guys and gals, gears and gearhead contests, and selfies galore. It one big family-friendly party and then-some.

Whether you’re biking or road-tripping, make sure to ride the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, an 83-mile loop through some of Northern New Mexico’s most beautiful scenery.

And look twice for bikes!

Schedule of events

Friday (May 26)

10 a.m.-8 p.m. Military History Display at Red River Conference Center; vendors open

1-8 p.m. Music in the Park by DJ JP - Brandenburg Park

2 p.m. Otis Watkins, Black Lilies, Colin Brooks, Kelley Mickwee, Honey House at The Motherlode Saloon

6 p.m. Mike Addington, Colin Brooks, Kelley Mickwee, Honey House at Lost Love Saloon

8 p.m. Ozzie Ozborn-cover band Blizzard of Ozz at Bull O’ The Woods

Saturday (May 27)

8 a.m. Steve Stucker’s Rally in the Valley registration/ check-in, ride rules/ instructions near Red River Conference Center

10 a.m.-8 p.m. Vendors open/ Military History Display/Music in the Park - Brandenburg Park, Jacks & Sixes, River St., and Conference Center

11 a.m. Flag Retirement Service & Ceremony Color Guard Ceremony, Flag Presentation, National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, Flag Retirement Ceremony, 21 Gun Salute, Taps - Brandenburg Park

Noon Kick Stands Up! Steve Stucker’s Rally in the Valley; Hot Dog Eating Contest/Trivial Pursuit at Motherlode Saloon

1-8 p.m. Music In The Park w/DJJP at Brandenburg Park

1:30 p.m. Busted Knuckles Stunt Show at Municipal Lot next to Brandenburg Park

3 p.m. Tattoo Contest at Motherlode Saloon

10 a.m.-8 p.m. Live Music (all day nonstop music) by S.H.I., Chris Raven and The Rudy Boy Experiment at Bull O’ the Woods Saloon

5 p.m. Busted Knuckles Stunt Show

Sunday (May 28)

10 - noon Bike Show registration - Motherlode Saloon

Noon Bike Show Judging

10 a.m.-6 p.m.Vendors open/ Military History Display/Music in the Park at Brandenburg Park, Jacks & Sixes, River St., and Conference Center

1-6 p.m. Music in the Park by DJ JP - Brandenburg Park/ military display

1:30 p.m. Busted Knuckles Stunt Show at Municipal Lot next to Brandenburg Park

2 p.m. Mrs. Motherlode Contest at Motherlode Saloon

4:30 p.m. Bike Show Awards at Motherlode Saloon

5:30 p.m. Busted Knuckles Stunt Show at Municipal Lot next to Brandenburg Park

Memorial Weekend Military Historic Uniforms Display

Red River Convention Center

1756 Rodgers Rangers (America’s 1st Green Beret)

1777 2nd Regiment Continental Light Dragoons (1st Badge of Military Merit recipient, today’s Purple Heart)

1813 Johnson’s Volunteer Calvary

1846 US Dragoons 1st Regiment

1861 Civil War Infantry

1880 4th Regiment US Calvary

1898 Teddy’s Rough Riders

1916 Pershing’s Expedition

1944 WWII Infantry and Women’s Army Corp

1952 Korean War

1965 Vietnam

1990 Desert Storm

2003 Iraq/Afghanistan War

VFW Post 3259 Color Guard Members: Jeffrey Padilla, John Paul Padilla, Mike Pacheco, Salvador Martínez, Gus Fernández, Joseph Devargas, Lawrence Vargas, Samuel Devargas. Founded September 1941, VFW Post 3259 is one of the oldest established VFW Posts in New Mexico, whose mission is to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts and to serve veterans, the military and to advocate on behalf of all veterans. Contact Commander Joseph Devargas (575) 779-3880 or j_devargas@yahoo.com or Honor Guard Coordinator Jeffery Padilla at (575) 779-7850.

Not Forgotten Outreach is dedicated to motivating military veterans and Gold Star families of fallen heroes to participate in recreational and/or therapeutic activities in order to facilitate the healing process. Located at 461 Valverde Commons Dr., in Taos. Details at (575)-224-1503 www.notforgottenoutreach.org