The smell of burning rubber and the glint of chrome will return to the Rockingham Dragway this weekend, when modded choppers of all styles roll in to the 13th annual Smoke Out bike rally.
Rockingham Dragway is located on U.S. Highway 1 north, across from the Rockingham Speedway or “The Rock.”
Ticket prices for all three days is $35, and if you get there on Saturday, ticket prices will have dropped to $30.
The gates open at noon on Friday. From noon to 4 p.m. you can vote for the Chop Off Winner.
From 2 to 3 p.m., Derrick Stark will be on the main stage, playing solo acoustic.
Starting at 1 p.m. and lasting until 5 p.m., you can register to ride in the XsSpeed Mini Bike races as XsSpeed’s booth, next to HORSE info booth. You must have a costume and official number to run.
Chainsaw art carving will happen from 3 p.m. until the artists are done.
Solo acoustic artist Anthony Fury will take the main state from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
On the dragstrip, the All American Stunter’s Stunt Show will grace the two-lane blacktop at 4 p.m., followed by a Nitro run at 4:30 p.m. From 5 to 7 p.m. the dragstrip will open up for individual competing.
There is going to be plenty to see, with vendors and food as well as a bike show.
Adult fun begins at night. At 7 p.m. Rebel Son takes the main stage, and a fire show will happen at 8:30 p.m. A wet T-shirt contest will be held at 8:45 p.m. and Rebel Son will get back on stage for a second set. Although event fun will end at 11 p.m., it will continue in the campground, with a ladies pole danging contest at 11:15 p.m. Events will continue until 2 a.m.
Saturday, gates open at 10 a.m.
This gathering of bikers focuses on the bike builder. Scraping through scrap yards and swapping out parts to build the perfect bike can take time, but all that hard work pays off when the Smokeout comes around.
Last year’s event brought out around 10,000 people, all at least 18 years old.
“This has been a great event in the past years,” said Rockingham Dragway owner Steve Earwood. “People have these custom bikes they ride from Ontario and other places. These are bikes people have built in their own garages. It’s the biggest custom bike show in the country. It’s a good event for us. I’ve already seen several (bikers) in town already. I certainly enjoy it.”
Earwood said his discussion with the event organizers has been good.
“They love coming to Rockingham,” he said. “It’s a good location for them, with the I-95 corridor nearby.”
Events like this that draw thousands of people boost the local economy when the crowd spends their money.
“I’ve been told by local restaurants they get more business then than any other time during the year,” said Earwood. “This is good for our community, for restaurants, hotels, gas stations and grocery stores.”
For more information, contact the Dragway at 910-582-3400.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.