The sound of purring engines and the dull roar of chattering people filled the streets of Hollister Friday and Saturday, the city home to a busyness uncharacteristic of the normally quiet town. The throngs of people, countless street vendors, and, in particular, bikers and bike enthusiasts, found in Hollister this past weekend were all ushered in by one event: the return of Hollister’s biker rally.
This summer marks the rally’s return, as it had been stopped in 2009 due to the tanking economy. But now the rally is back, and everyone seemed thrilled about its revival: on Saturday, downtown Hollister was packed to the absolute brim with people, with the head of the rally, Mark Creswell, anticipating 30,000 more people just trying to get into Hollister for the event. Whether an exaggeration or not, the figure speaks of how much the rally’s return was happily anticipated by everyone. And based on the people there, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves; from people watching to browsing the booths to admiring the many different kinds of bikes, there was no shortage of activites to do.
While the rally’s return may have brought a sense of nostalgia for me, it was definitely not my scene; despite the excitement and multitude of booths, the masses of people crowding the streets was a bit much for my taste. However, the rally grants a plethora of benefits to our community that cannot be denied. Most evidently, the rally brings a great deal of activity to the businesses downtown, whether they are directly involved in the rally or not. Additionally, the business of nonprofits such as the Rotary Club, which put on the beer garden this year at the rally, will be able to funnel their earnings into the community in a variety of beneficial ways. And of course, the rally’s return brought one even greater impact: the bringing together of the whole community.
While the rally may not have been my cup of tea necessarily, I am more than happy about its return. Besides being a hit among the community and tourists, it brings a much needed boost to our local economy. And luckily, judging by the rally’s success, it seems as though it is back for good.