UNION — Main Street in downtown Union will become “Thunder Road” this Sunday as part of a fund raising event for a veterans service organization and a group that gives physically and/or mentally challenged children and adults the opportunity to play baseball.
The “Thunder Road Motorcycle Show and Ride” will take place in downtown Union on Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. In addition to the motorcycle show on Main Street, the event will include a ride through Union County by the participating motorcyclists. The ride, which will encompass historic sites throughout the county, will be followed by an awards ceremony on Gadberry Street.
In addition to the motorcycle show on Main Street and the motorcycle ride through the county, the event will also feature food vendors and live entertainment.
Thunder Road is one of a series of events sponsored this summer by the Union County Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with other local and area organizations. Chamber Executive Director Torance Inman said that Sunday’s event has attracted enough sponsors to cover most if not all of the costs involved, ensuring that all the funds raised will go to the organizations they’re being raised for.
“Our plans for our Thunder Road show and ride have come together well beyond our expectations,” Inman said Thursday. “We have ten presenting sponsors, twenty t-shirt sponsors, and seven registration sponsors which will cover the cost of putting on the event with the exception of possibly a few unexpected expenditures.”
Inman said that all the proceeds of the show and the ride will go to the local Wounded Warrior Project and the Miracle League of Union County.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a veterans service organization that seeks to raise public awareness of and enlist the public’s assistance in meeting the needs of severely injured service members; help severely injured service members aid and assist each other; and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of those veterans.
The Miracle League of Union County works to provide opportunities for mentally and/or physically challenged children and adults to play baseball. Earlier this year the league completed its first spring season and will begin its fall season in September. League games in Union County are played on the MLUC ballfield at the Timken Sports Complex.
The organization and preparation for Sunday’s event has been a joint effort of the chamber and the Union County Recreation Department, Union County Tourism Commission, Southern Legends Motorcycle Club, and the Christian Motorcycle Association.
Inman thanked the recreation department, tourism commission, and the motorcycle groups who he said “have worked very hard toward getting ready for the Thunder Road event this Sunday.”
While the street will not be closed to traffic during the show, the parking spaces along downtown Main Street will be for motorcycles only, and Inman urged motorists who drive through to observe the motorcycles on display to exercise caution in doing so.
“On Sunday, Main Street will be motorcycle parking only, however, the street will not be closed for individuals who want to ride through and see the bikes,” Inman said. “We encourage them to do so, but to use extreme caution because there will be hundreds of people walking around Main Street.”
Inman said the ride portion of the event will begin at noon at City Tire & Lube, 107 Palmer St., Union. He said the first leg of the ride will go from there to the Union County Dragway where the second leg will begin, bringing the motorcyclists back to Main Street.
“Those riders who are in church until noon are encouraged to join the ride at the Union County Dragway for the second leg,” Inman said.
Inman said motorcyclists who want to participate in the event must register to do so, either online or on Sunday morning.
“Registration will begin at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of the Union County School District office,” Inman said. “Others that may not be able to make that time frame because of church can go to our website (www.unionsc.com) and register online. They can then pay their registration fee and pick up their packet and t-shirt upon their arrival.”
Food vendors and live entertainment will also be part of the Thunder Road event.
“We will also have a number of food vendors on Gadberry Street with entertainment on the stage starting at 11 a.m.,” Inman said “Crossing Ford will start at 11 a.m. and Amanda Knowles will be singing at 1 p.m.”
The event will conclude with an awards ceremony at 3 p.m. during which awards will given for motorcycles in the following categories:
• American Made
• Trike/Three Wheel
• Custom Support
There will also be an award for Best of Show.
Inman said the award winners will be decided by the motorcyclists themselves who will vote on the best bike in each category as well as in Best of Show. He said the riders will vote using ballots they pick up at the registration desk Sunday morning.
Spectators can also vote by picking up a ballot at either the registration desk or the stage on Gadberry Street.