Bainbridge Bikefest doubling population - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bainbridge Bikefest doubling population

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September 14, 2006

Bainbridge-  Bainbridge's population is expected to double this weekend during Bikefest. The event not only brings in visitors from all over the country, it gives 100 percent of the profits to charity. This year's rally maybe the last at the Airpark.

Four hundred fifty campers fill the Commodore Decatur Airpark, thousands more are anticipated. Tracy and Joby Gaeta of Orlando are back at Bikefest for a second time.

"This has a little bit of a twist to it, there's a lot of nice places to ride up here too," said Tracy and Joby Gaeta, of Orlando, Florida.

The festival continues to grow because of it's great reputation.

"Just the attitude of the promoters and the reputation of the rally, it's a good clean rally," said Frank Goodwin, a Vendor.

Visitors can find plenty to buy on the Bikefest grounds, but many also venture out into the community, last year this event added up to a two million dollar tax revenue for the city of Bainbridge.

"It was started as a tourism effort to bring in money to the county and the city and fill up the restaurants and hotels," said Leslie Bernier, Bikefest Chairwoman.

Charities also benefit, while event goers get to check out the latest bikes 100 percent of the profits go to the Shriner's Hospital, Salvation Army and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

"We've got numerous smaller charities which include like our Bainbridge youth football league, the Friendship House which is an after school program for children, that need somewhere to go in the afternoon, that have parents that are still working during the day and then also the life to literacy program here," said Bernier.

Fun like the Wall of Death, over the last eight years has raised $467,000, and over the next three days organizers hope to raise at least $90,000 more. 

Organizers will be collecting for another cause this year, their own grounds. For the tenth anniversary they hope to move Bikefest to a new permanent location on 100 acres on PondTown Road. The event runs through Sunday and cost $30.

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