Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
BLUE LAKE – The 41st Annual Redwood Run Blue Lake Rally will launch from a new location this year, and a new facility as well.
Long a Piercy tradition, the full-featured motorcycle rally and benefit for Kiwanis of the Redwoods had to find a new venue, and wound up in Blue Lake – at the Blue Lake Casino Hotel’s new, full-featured, two-and-a-half acre events field.
“It’s a rally but anybody is welcome to come,” said Redwood run CEO Kenny Willis. Anyone 21 or over, that is.
Along with reunions and camaraderie among longtime attendees, the event will feature abundant entertainment. Among the bands performing are Katey Sagal and the Reluctant Apostles and Everlast. In addition, a circus sideshow, games, food, beverages, vendors and even a wet T-shirt contest. Some attendees will stay at the nearby hotel, while others may choose to RV or tent camp by the Mad River, with bathrooms and showers provided.
“It’s going to be a great event,” Willis said. “There’s always a good time had by all.”
BLCH is excited about the patch of open space on which the Redwood Run will occur this year. “It’s just coming to fruition,” said Jana Ganion, energy director.
The project was inspired by the lack of Astroturf fields in the area for children’s events. Already wired with electricity (powered by BLCH’s solar microgrid) and Wi-Fi, the synthetic turf will be added along with movable bleachers and lighting. That will set it up for a range of events, from sports to theatrical productions and concerts.
Eventually, the space will be divided up into three sports fields, each striped differently for soccer and baseball.
Ganion said the space could even enhance public safety by gaining certification as a Red Cross emergency shelter.
“We hope to work steadily to put the pieces together and get it all going over the next year or so,” Ganion said. Once complete, a celebration will be held at its grand opening.
While the Redwood Run is calling it “The Blue Lake Campground and Amphitheater,” the facility isn’t yet named, though Ganion refers to it as an “outdoor community sports and events venue.”
“If you have suggestions, let us know,” she said.
For now, she’s excited about the big weekend to come, with attendees arriving Friday night and some staying through Monday morning.
“It’ll be a nice event,” Ganion said.
“Come celebrate the melding of tradition and renewal as we bring the Redwood Run spirit to the town of Blue Lake,” states the Redwood Run website.
Willis said that if the Blue Lake version of the event works out as hoped, it will be retained and continued as a new tradition even if the original SoHum location can be secured again.
“It gives you the opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself and be part of your community,” Willis said. “It’s respect, unity, freedom and one hell of a good time."