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9/16/2013 3:10:00 PM
Thunder Valley Rally rumbles into Verde Valley
Leon Russell
Leon Russell
Plenty of motorcycle noise will fill Old Town Cottonwood this weekend for the 13th running of the leading motorcycle show and rally in Northern Arizona, the Thunder Valley Rally. Bikes in all shapes and colors will pour into the area for two and a half days. VVN/Jon Pelletier
Plenty of motorcycle noise will fill Old Town Cottonwood this weekend for the 13th running of the leading motorcycle show and rally in Northern Arizona, the Thunder Valley Rally. Bikes in all shapes and colors will pour into the area for two and a half days. VVN/Jon Pelletier
If You Go ...
• What: Thunder Valley Rally

• When: Friday- Sun Sept 20-22

• Where: Old Town Cottonwood

• How Much: Music is Free, Events individual charges

Jon Hutchinson
Kudos Staff Reporter

Motorcycle noise is both a learned and infectious disease that brings with it a deep culture of wind in your hair freedom and fun.

Plenty of motorcycle noise will fill Old Town Cottonwood this weekend for the 13th running of the leading motorcycle show and rally in Northern Arizona, the Thunder Valley Rally. Bikes in all shapes and colors will pour into the area for two and a half days.

This year's rally has been promoted all over Arizona and in periodicals in surrounding states.

A big draw will be the entertainment with Jackyl and Leon Russell, popular from Sturgis performances topping the show bills Friday and Saturday nights. Russell, of course, is also a legend in the music world. There will be as many as six nationally recognized builders showing off top builds, a bike show Sturgis-style parking up and down Main Street, Miss TVR pageant and fashion show, open bars in the Old Town

There will be two rides from the Phoenix valley to reach Cottonwood. Both originate from Harley Davidson of Scottsdale. It's kickstands up at 6:30 p.m. Friday to be at the rally in time for the free 9 p.m. Jackyl performance Friday night,

Saturday morning, the HDOS run from Scottsdale to Cottonwood is kickstands up at 8 a.m. for those bikers to connect with the Poker Run at 10 a.m. Riders should pre-register for the run to speed things up in Cottonwood.

This year, the Poker Run winds though wine country. Jim Moore of the 4-Coyotes, which helped organize and promote the event this year, says "The Poker Run is always a big, major deal. But, it has always run too far afield in past year and people too far out of town and don't come back. I am all about the city and the area. This year the ride runs for about 50 miles. So we are going to do Page Springs Road and introduce them to wine country. It should be great. The casino is heavily involved, so one of the stops is the casino."

"We expect riders to be gone for 2 to 3 hours and come back to the city for all the entertainment and everything the city has to offer."

Poker Run

Registration for the Poker Run begins Friday night from 5 to 7 p.m. before the free music and beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday the day of the run. It's sponsored by Cottonwood Motorsports, the Cottonwood Victory Motorcycle dealer. Come early for the Knights of Columbus pancake breakfast before the run.

There is $2,000 prize money, $1,000 for the High Hand and $1,000 for Low Hand. The Run takes riders along SR 260 to sponsoring Cottonwood Motorsports, Cliff Castle Casino, the north of I-17 to Cornville Road and Page Springs Road to Javelina Leap Winery, returning to Fire Mountain Wines and the Burning Tree Cellars in Old Town. Riders will have cards to stamp at each of the stops.

All poker run participants will receive a complimentary luncheon at a number of participating restaurants.

For those who are not interested in the Poker Run, there is also a free Poker Walk. Mitch Levy of Burning Tree says his wife Julie organized the event. People get a free card and 20 merchants in the Old Town area are involved from 11-through 4 on Saturday. The person who collects the most stamps at the merchant locations wills $100, with $75 for second place and $50 for third. Merchants have also donated prizes for those who do not win top prizes. You must be present to win at the 4:15 p.m. Saturday drawing.

The entertainment stage is located at the north end of main Street near the new Jail Trail Parking lot. There will be VIP seating on the south end of the parking lot who want to be close up for Jackyls chainsaw performance or to see Russell's flowing white beard.


On Friday, the music will include the Visitors at 5:15 and 6:45 will warm up the stage and then the big show with Jackyl starts at 9 p.m.

The music starts at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon with local favorite Knuckleheads. Its MojoZosa, an Arizona tribute band of the Doors and Led Zeppelin at 3:30. At 6:30, the 74th Street Band takes the stage leading up to Leon Russell at 9.p.m.

The competition at four local establishments has been building for weeks leading to the judging of Miss Thunder Valley Rally, a new addition this year. One to two girls from each spot will take the stage, culled from the contests at the Main Stage, Chapparal, Rockin B and the Rendezvous in Old Town.

The winner will take home $1,000 in cash plus gifts when she is crowned Miss Thunder Valley Rally 2013.

The pageant will take place immediately following the Friday night Jackyl performance.

Bike show

For the second year, Dave and Karen Vernetti of D & K Service Cycle are sponsoring the ride-in bike show, to be held at the parking lot near the big stage. Karen says there will be six classes of competition. With first place in each class winning $200 and a custom trophy.

Second place wins a class certificate and other prizes for riders including helmets and gloves. Register for $10 at the 5th wheel RV near the Old Town Jail stage.

The show runs from noon until 4 p.m. with winners announced on stage from 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Builder displays will be located on the parking lot behind the Orion Baker.

Numerous vendors will show their wares on Pinal Street and in the parking area at Pinal and First.

The Sugar Idols, a new local dance troop will be on stage Saturday afternoon at 3:30 plus a fashion show.

A somber color guard will open the events Friday morning with a short parade on Main and remembrance of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

This is a major event for Cottonwood and Northern Arizona. There will be plenty of fun and top tier entertainment.

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