A Route 66-themed fiesta is slated to replace the Fire & Ice Bike Rally in Grants, New Mexico, weeks after the mayor cast a tie-breaking vote to cancel the downtown motorcycle event after 15 years.
The Cibola County Beacon reported the new festival will take place in the third weekend of July 2016, with a big car show as the centerpiece.
Grants MainStreet president Manuel Vasquez gave more details:
Vasquez said the big attraction of the proposed fiesta, or festival, will be a large car show. “About 200 to 300 cars and trucks,” said MainStreet’s president who is a car lover him self, muscle cars in particular. “There will be vendors, street dancing, an endurance race for adults and a bicycle race for the children,” said Vasquez. “But, the emphasis will be the car show, right here, in downtown Grants on Route 66.”
As far as a title for the event, that was “kicked around” also, according to Vasquez. “Rockin on Route 66 is one, but not set in stone,” explained Vasquez. “That is something we will further discuss and possibly decide on Oct. 14.”
The city of Grants voted in August to officially end its support for the Fire & Ice Rally after the police chief reported more than 150 openly armed people at the July event. He also reported a “spike” in crime that weekend, including several fights at motels that injured an officer. Mayor Martin Hicks also said 100 Banditos — a notorious motorcycle gang — also rolled into town that weekend.
Hicks didn’t mention it explicitly, but a May 17 shootout between motorcycle gangs at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, probably loomed large in his decision to kill the Grants event. Nine people died and 18 were injured in the Waco shootings, and Banditos were seen at the venue before and after the massacre.