Thousands of motorcyclists descend on Algona this weekend for the annual “Freedom Rally” by ABATE of Iowa.Previous rallies were in Humboldt but ABATE of Iowa purchased Freedom Park northeast of Algona about a year and-a-half ago and this will be the first rally there. ABATE stands for “American Bikers Aimed Toward Education,” and though it began as an anti-helmet group, it’s expanded into motorcycle-rider education. Assistant state coordinator Jim Berte says the new site is a dream come true. He says it was a “good run” at Humboldt but after 17 years the group outgrew the park and after paying lots of rent to Humboldt county, he and state coordinator Steve Rector finally found the purchase within reach for the group. Vicky Maury, executive director of the Algona Chamber of Commerce, calls this weekend’s rally an “unbelievable” opportunity for local merchants.She says some three million dollars will be spent at the rally and its “turnaround” in the community will have a huge economic impact. Last year more than ten-thousand people showed up for the group’s fourth-of-July Freedom Rally, and assistant state coordinator Berte says you can expect congestion. The group’s website spells out rules for the rally, including no pets, no fireworks, no firearms…and no golf carts.
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