ELKHART — Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts flocked to downtown Elkhart Saturday night to take part in Elkhart Bike Night.
“It’s just a good way for motorcyclists to get together and have a good time and fellowship,” James Ballard, chairman of Elkhart Bike Night Community, said of the fourth annual event.
The free event included a beer garden, food and motorcycle vendors and live music for an expected 10,000 plus guests.
Navarre Hospitality Group served beverages and local recording artist Paul Erdman opened for headliner Black Heart Saints, an award-winning American rock band from Austin, Texas. There were also two stunt shows by Joe Dryden, a freestyle sports bike performer.
A children’s area allowed youths the chance to try a bike with training wheels, sponsored by ABATE, who had its Region 1 Five-County Run end in Elkhart Saturday, as did the Hoosier Burn Camp Benefit Ride.
Nancy Aurand, 100, known as Granny B Bop, was honored as the first ever grand marshal of the Elkhart Bike Night. She and her husband were members of the St. Joe Valley Riders, an American Motorcycle Association group in the 1940s. Aurand still has an Indian motorcycle which she purchased new in 1941.
Elkhart Bike Night provided a scholarship to Brandon Warren, an Elkhart Area Career Center student studying power sport mechanics.
Warren received credit toward the purchase of tools to further his career and gained the chance to job shadow at Hoosier Harley Davidson, North End Cycle and Elkhart Indian Motorcycle.
“Bikers are more generous, more caring than most parts of the population,” Jason Lewis, general manager for North End Cycle, said.
Sponsors for Elkhart Bike Night include the City of Elkhart, Elkhart Festivals Inc., The Gateway Mile, the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Hoosier Harley Davidson, North End Cycle and Elkhart Indian Motorcycle.