Though the annual Red River Memorial Motorcycle Rally has effectively been canceled, Red River Mayor Linda Calhoun said the town is prepared to welcome bikers who …
Though the annual Red River Memorial Motorcycle Rally has effectively been canceled, Red River Mayor Linda Calhoun said the town is prepared to welcome bikers who choose to make the trip.
In a May meeting, the town of Red River Council voted to cancel vendors for this year's motorcycle rally due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. The council decided to prevent the vendors from setting up on public property to help prevent the possible spread of the virus that causes the disease.
"This is going to be a big economic loss for us," Calhoun said.
The rally brings over 10,000 motorcycle riders and visitors into the Enchanted Circle area each year for the rally, music and various events.
This year festivities will not be going on as planned. Bars will remain closed, as per the state's orders, and restaurants will maintain takeout and delivery services until directed otherwise.
Calhoun said she is not looking at closing up the town, but has been improvising some plans.
"We know we're going to have a lot of bikers," Calhoun said. "People want to be here this weekend and we have to be prepared to take care of them."
Calhoun said the town has placed a number of picnic tables around the area to be able to accommodate bikers who make the journey to the town, despite the lack of vendors and entertainment.
Hand-washing stations as well as portable restrooms have been stationed so that if bikers come, they will have the amenities they need, according to Calhoun.
"We want our tourists to come through and we need them to come," Calhoun said. "We're focusing more on public safety for the upcoming weekend."
Red River will have face masks available at the visitors center for those who do not have one. Every citizen is required to wear a face covering in public to help prevent the possible spread of the virus.
Calhoun said she still wants visitors to practice social distancing if they come to the town and stay in the allowed groups of no more than five people.
No official events or ceremonies will take place as part of the rally this year.
This year's lunch at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire has been canceled but the grounds will still be open to those wishing to pay respects.
"People have been coming by but they have been practicing social distancing," said Vietnam Veteran's Memorial director D.B. Herbst.
Herbst said the visitors center will be closed but the chapel and memorial grounds will be open to the public.
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