Osoyoos residents invited to attend inaugural Rally at the Border Blues Fest next weekend

By on May 7, 2014

For over a decade, Vicki Hinze watched hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts from across Washington State visit Oroville for a fundraising rally and spend a day at the Pastime Pub and Grill that Hinze owns with her husband.

“We would get these hundreds of motorcycles coming from all over the place, but they would get to the Canadian border and turn around and go home,” said Hinze. “I thought this was ridiculous and I wanted to do something about it.

“I talked it over with a few friends and we thought we would try and create an event and something that we all hope could become an annual thing and be something pretty cool that people look forward to.”

Considering her love of blues music and the fact so many motorcycle enthusiasts tend to be blues fans, Hinze and some friends have organized the inaugural Rally at the Border Blues Fest, which will run Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18, at Deep Bay Park, located five kilometres south of the Canadian border between Osoyoos and Oroville on the American side of beautiful Osoyoos Lake.

Hinze has signed six blues bands to perform at the festival, including Steve Bailey and the Blue Flames, Junk Belly, Voo Doo Church of Blues, North Half, Blues Edition and Red House.

The bands will perform between 2 and 10 p.m. on Saturday. There will be a car show at Gold Digger Park as part of the festivities, said Hinze.

On Sunday, motorcyclists will participate in the 12th annual charity poker run and raffle.

Hinze said she and her organizing team of volunteers are hopeful a nice contingent of Osoyoos residents will attend the blues festival and/or bike rally.

“We would love to get a good group of Canadians to come down to listen to some great music and support a wonderful event,” she said. “We’re less than five minutes from the border so everyone is invited.”

The Columbia River Harley Owners Group (HOG) based in Wenatchee, Wash. has been organizing the poker run and rally and group members are very excited about the blues festival being part of their event, said Hinze.

“We used to get over 400 bikes coming down from all over Washington and as far away as Idaho and Montana for this event and they would spend the day (in Oroville) and then turn around and go home,” she said. “Last year, we had 195 bikes and it just didn’t make any sense to me for all these people to come all this way and not stay.”

There has been a “long relationship between driving motorcycles and blues music” and she hopes the bike rally and blues festival can become a success in year one and expand in future years.

Tickets for the Rally at the Border Blues Fest are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate.

Because this is a licensed event, no one under age 21 will be allowed on the site and young people should bring picture identification, she said.

Tent camping is available and only $10 per camp site, but space is limited, she said.

For more information, you can go online at www.rallyattheborderbluesfest.com.

You can also call 509-485-2272 or send an email to borderbluesfest@gmail.com.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

 

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