Allstate Roar on the Shore® – Pennsylvania Bike Week is the fastest-growing, free charitable motorcycle event in the United States, raising more than $900,000 for local and regional charities since its inception in 2007. Here, Ellie Cullen, development director for Roar®, discusses plans for the 2019 rally, which is scheduled for July 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21, and its impact on Erie County, Pennsylvania, and the tri-state region.
Roar on the Shore® has made some big announcements in 2019, including Allstate as its new title sponsor. How important is this partnership?
We are so pleased such a prominent and nationally known company has partnered with Roar on the Shore®. Allstate has had a presence at Roar on the Shore® for many years as a well-known vendor, displaying the tie-dye-painted custom choppers built by legendary bike builder Rick Fairless. Allstate’s support and commitment to the charitable aspect of Roar on the Shore® demonstrates its longstanding commitment to give back locally.
This year, Roar® is celebrating its 13th year with proceeds benefiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Erie County’s Homefront program. Tell us more about this program and who it will help.
NAMI Homefront is a free, educational program for families, caregivers and friends of military service members and veterans with mental health conditions. This program is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country. The program is taught by trained family members of veterans living with mental health conditions. (See page 5 for more about NAMI.)
Roar® has grown considerably each year, drawing visitors from across the United States and Canada to Erie County and surrounding communities for five days of motorcycles, fellowship and more. What are some advantages of the new “Hub” location at the Lake Erie Speedway in North East?
Our new facility will triple the space currently available in Perry Square. There is stadium concert seating for thousands. Vendor Alley will expand its footprint. There is ample parking (not gravel). There is covered table seating and concessions, numerous full-service bars as well as stadium restrooms. There are no gate or concert fees.
Each year, Roar® announces a grand marshal to lead the Bringin’ in the Roar® Bike Parade. This year, that honor is going to acclaimed actor Kim Coates of “Sons of Anarchy” fame. What can you tell us about Mr. Coates and his Roar® appearance?
Kim Coates famously played the leather-clad thug with a heart on FX hit “Sons of Anarchy.” So, serving as grand marshal of the Bringin’ in the Roar® Bike Parade isn’t a stretch. The rally’s flagship parade departs at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, from Presque Isle Downs & Casino before arriving at The Hub at the Lake Erie Speedway.
Roar® features a mix of exciting rides, headline concerts and motorcycle merchandise. What are some highlights of the 2019 rally that visitors shouldn’t miss?
The rides! Rides include the Fallen Riders Memorial Run, the Al Mele Memorial Ride, the Covered Bridges Ride, the Microbrews Dice Run, Thunder on the Isle, the Roar® to the Vineyards Poker Run, A Beer for the Deer Legend Ride, the Roar® to the Parks ride, and our signature Bringin’ in the Roar® Bike Parade with celebrity Grand Marshal Kim Coates and thousands of motorcycles.The concerts! On Wednesday, July 17, Lita Ford will rock the stage. On Thursday, July 18, Night Ranger will entertain the crowd with its guitar-driven hits. On Friday, July 19, the Roar® crowd will rock out with the founding member of Guns N’ Roses, drummer Steven Adler. On Saturday, July 20, the multiplatinum heavy-metal band Stryper will bring its God Damn Evil World Tour to the Roar® Mainstage. Each headline concert is free and takes place at 9 p.m.
The merchandise! Roar® will be offering up our 2019 exclusive designs for our T-shirts, pins, patches and koozies.
Other new features and events include new and exciting vendors. The free Budweiser Pavilion is a covered venue that offers full bar service, food, tables and seating, and performances by the region’s best bands. Plan to attend the Pro Wrestling Rampage on Saturday. It’s also free!
In addition to raising funds for a worthwhile charity, Roar® provides an economic boost to the region. How far-reaching is this impact in the tri-state area?
An incredible and welcome byproduct of our charity event is the $30 million “shot in the arm” that happens in our tri-state region during Roar®, the third week of every July. Lodging is sold out, our visitors are shopping, eating and enjoying our tourist destinations, falling in love with our area and returning each year!
What is the best way to learn more about how to support Roar® and the NAMI Homefront program?