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Bordertown Biker Bash looking for a new home?

JR Wazny of Beaverton, Ont., performs a stunt at the 2019 Bordertown Biker Bash. Organizers are seeking the community’s help in finding potential venues for the 2020 festival.
JR Wazny of Beaverton, Ont., performs a stunt at the 2019 Bordertown Biker Bash. Organizers are seeking the community’s help in finding potential venues for the 2020 festival. - Dave Mathieson

Organizers fearful successful festival may move out of Amherst if new venue not found

AMHERST, N.S. —

The Bordertown Biker Bash has become a huge success for Amherst, but organizers may be forced out of the community if a suitable venue isn’t found by February.

Organizing committee member Mike Johnson said the motorcycle festival has been successful at attracting motorcyclists from around the region to Amherst for three days, but for the third consecutive year it’s looking for another venue.

“We're looking for the community’s help in looking for a place for 2020 and we’re looking at a number of options,” Johnson said. “The Canadian Tire parking lot would still be partially available to us in 2020 and there’s a desire to partner with (the owners of the Amherst Centre mall) to see if we can put this community festival on using both properties.

“If that doesn't work, we are asking the public if anyone can come up with an idea where we can hold it, keeping in mind we need a paved area for the stunt shows. The vendor village can be done on a grass area.”

If anyone can help, Johnson said people can go to the Bordertown Biker Bash’s website or Facebook page or contact himself or another committee member.

The organization, he added, is also looking for volunteers.

“We’re looking for a highly motivated person who has good communication skills dealing with the vendors, the stunt companies and other companies involved so we can prepare to get organized for 2020,” Johnson said. “If someone feels they’d like to get involved, has great organizational skills and has good communication skills we’re looking for someone like that.”

Johnson said the organizing committee is still going through the results of the 2019 festival and is continuing to deal with the loss of Randy Thurber, who was killed several weeks ago in a motorcycle crash in Saskatchewan. Thurber was a key member of the organizing committee and Johnson said his shoes will be hard to fill.

“It’s just one of the issues we’re facing as we prepare for 2020,” Johnson said.

The 2019 event, Johnson said, was another success. The stunt shows were well attended and the vendors and food court operators reported great results. The food court, he said, had vendors running out of food – something no one thought would happen.

“It takes an incredible group of people who volunteer all their time, talent and skill sets to pull this thing together,” Johnson said. “Every one of us turns into a firefighter because something comes up. Randy was a master at it, but all of us have this ability to work in their particular silo to get things prepared. When things occurred, everyone chipped in to make sure everything was a success.”

Johnson said Canadian Tire’s owner was very open and co-operative to the festival in 2019, but it came at a cost in business. He’s really hoping something can be done to co-host the festival between the parking lots at Canadian Tire and the mall.

Failing that, and without another alternative, Johnson said the festival will move to another community.

In 2018, the festival was held at the Superstore property and the year before that in the Amherst Town Square Mall parking lot. Neither of those sites are viable any longer.

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