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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • The Pride Ride: It’s Back!

  • The Pride Ride is coming back, with some changes, organizers announced Tuesday.

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  • The Pride Ride is coming back, with some changes, organizers announced Tuesday.
    For the first time, the activities will be centered at the Chemung County Fairgrounds, Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli said.
    Pride Ride, a local tradition for the past 17 years, is a 160-mile motorcycle ride June 22 through the Twin Tiers that benefits three local charities. It’s now formally called the American Pride Ride and Rally.
    More than 1,000 bikers take part annually, and they donate toys to the Salvation Army and American Red Cross, which distribute them to area families in need at Christmas. The riders also make donations to the Children’s Miracle Network.
    The Pride Ride will depart at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 22 from the former Hills/Ames plaza on Lake Road, just across from the Chemung County Fairgrounds. The ride will go through the Athens, Mansfield, Corning and Watkins Glen areas.
    At approximately 6 p.m., the riders will return to the fairgrounds for a “parade of bikes,” followed by a free concert by Tongue and Groove at 7 p.m.
    As usual, the day’s festivities will be capped off by the “Set the Night to Music” fireworks show at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, beginning at 9:30 p.m. The show will be accompanied by music on the local radio stations of Backyard Broadcasting, which sponsors the events.
    A new feature: Throughout the day back at the fairgrounds, there will be food, drinks and entertainment, including a bounce house for kids and friendly competitive motorcycle games for prizes, all run by the Chemung County Agriculture Society. The fairgrounds will be open to the public beginning at 10 a.m.
    The activities at the fairgrounds will continue Sunday, June 23. Overnight camping for tents and Rvs will be available.
    Also Sunday, at 5:30 p.m., there will be paced laps at Watkins Glen International for 125 bikers, selected randomly from those who sign up for the Pride Ride.
    A complete schedule, Pride Ride route and registration form is posted online at www.wink106.com.
    In the past, most of the Pride Ride activities had centered around the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, but it has become increasingly difficult to play host to tightening FAA regulations, said Ann Crook, airport manager.
    Next year, organizers plan to move the fireworks show to the fairgrounds - where a new grandstand will soon be built.
    “It’s a nice facility, and it’s been underutilized for years,” Santulli said.
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