March 1, 2021

Laconia Motorcycle Week Seeks Donations After Fire

Photo courtesy of NEWSCAM 603

LACONIA, NH – Cleanup continues a month after a Christmas morning fire gutted the headquarters of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, while a GoFundMe campaign launched in the wake of the blaze continues to actively seek donations to help pay for the effort and for the replacement of memorabilia.

“We probably won’t be able to get back in the place for six months,” Charlie St. Clair said today of the organization’s offices at 1105 Union Ave. He reported that “getting debris out has been monotonous – shovel by shovel.”

Photo courtesy of Charlie St. Clair

The cause of the fire is still “undetermined but probably electrical,” said St. Clair. Damage is estimated at $200,000 with office equipment, irreplaceable photos, paintings, other event-related materials and archives being lost.

“We’re finding so few things. Most of the stuff is totally lost,” he said. “We’re never going to get it back. We know that.”

Laconia Sticking With 2021 Dates

Laconia Motorcycle Week is sticking with its announced dates for 2021 of June 12-20, unlike Americade in Lake George, NY, which revealed Friday that it’s moving from June to late September.

“We’re hoping that the vaccines kick in, and they get them out there better than they have been,” said event executive director Charlie St. Clair. Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of Americade and the postponement of Laconia Motorcycle Week, which was staged in limited form.

Should the COVID-19 pandemic still be active in June, St. Clair said Laconia Motorcycle Week will adjust. “Worse case scenario, we could have a rally like we did last year,” he said, referring to the absence of vendors and beer tents.

Shortly after the fire, Paul Cote of Check Twice – Save A Life signs and BostonBiker.com launched a GoFundMe page to help Laconia Motorcycle Week. So far, the We Love Laconia Motorcycle Week page has raised $10,589 with a goal of $75,000.

“No donation is too small. A dollar goes a long way. All the donations add up,” said St. Clair. “For us to rebuild what we had, it’s going to take a lot of funds.”

Charlie St. Clair

Firefighters were dispatched to the 2½-story building that Laconia Motorcycle Week has called home for about 20 years at 10 a.m. on Christmas. Passersby called in the fire after spotting smoke.

Laconia Motorcycle Week Memorabilia Sought

K. Peddlar Bridges, who serves as the organization’s historian, has been tasked with reassembling archives and locating memorabilia associated with the 98-year-old event.

“Being of the motorcycle community, we will find the spirit and fellowship to band together and rebuild our archives and reclaim our history,” Bridges wrote in a Facebook message.

“Our goal will be to collect historical records of Laconia Motorcycle Week, news clippings, fliers, photos, scrapbooks and video recordings.”

Material may be sent to K. Peddlar Bridges, PO Box 334, Laconia, NH 03246.

“We have had some generous donations of memorabilia,” said St Clair, who added that his hope is for the non-profit organization to find temporary office space within the next two to three weeks.

Photo courtesy of NEWSCAM 603

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Since 2010, RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland has been reporting about motorcycling in New England and portions of New York.

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