Motorcycle riders from across Iowa are rumbling into Algona today for the start of the annual three-day ABATE Freedom Rally . Event coordinator Phil McCormick of Clear Lake says ABATE stands for A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education and that’s what the weekend rally is all about.
"We have the only mobile training unit that teaches folks who want to get their motorcycle license how to properly and safely ride a motorcycle," McCormick says. "We also run a Share The Road program which is a state mandate…to teach other drivers to watch out for motorcycles."
There were 53 motorcyclists killed on Iowa’s roads last year. This is the 25th year for the ABATE rallies. They were held in Humboldt until 2002 when the organization bought the 140 acres of land in Algona.
He says it’s been developed into "one of the best-looking parks" with the state’s largest outdoor stage and plenty of permanent structures, including hot showers. For this weekend’s festival, he says more than 40 vendors are on site, offering everything from food to leather products.
McCormick said there will be plenty of music during the rally. There are 16 bands lined up, including Blue Oyster Cult, Edgar Winter and an Ozzy Osbourne "tribute" band. A fireworks show is also planned for Friday night.