RHINEBECK, NY – It was 2016 that the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet shifted from its then-traditional second weekend in June spot on the calendar to close to the Fourth of July. Now, after two years, it’s looking to shift again, despite accomplishing its goal of boosting attendance by getting away from the Americade and Laconia Motorcycle Week meets.
Dan Henke, who is Rhinebeck’s event chairman and president of the Hudson Valley chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, now thinks that a week (or so) earlier in June may work better, splitting the difference as it were, and is looking to reserve earlier dates next year.
The shift in 2016 to later dates resulted in a “noticeable change” in participation, Henke said. A walk of the show grounds revealed significantly more goods – motorcycle parts, apparel and old bikes – available for purchase. “The vendors are double this year,” he said.
One big change this year was a new entrance to the show, with the main entrance structure of the Duchess County Fairgrounds being used. “The fair figured they could better regulate,” Henke said.
Previously, patrons bought tickets at a small booth tucked into a corner adjacent to an opening in the perimeter fence. “It’s more centrally located now. You’re not funneling into a pocket,” Henke said.
– By Bud Wilkinson