The days of Thunder in the Valley are almost upon on us. The big Johnstown, Pennsylvania motorcycle rally is set for June 21 to 24 and 200,000 bike enthusiasts from the region attend annually as Johnstown, site of the famed 1889 flood, is turned over to bikers and fellow travelers.
Thunder In The Valley 2012
“The strong appeal of Thunder is that everyone here goes out of their way to make the bikers feel welcome; the residents have a ball and it’s a very relaxed but festive atmosphere,” said festival director Lisa Rager in a press release. Rager is the director of the Johnstown/Cambria County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the organizers of the rally.
The Broken Spoke Saloon
A new attraction this year is the Broken Spoke Saloon, which also sets up shop at the Sturgis, Myrtle Beach, Daytona and Laconia rallies.
There are several rides, including a short ice cream run and one that visits the Flight 93 Memorial Site in Stoystown, which is south of Johnstown. Manufacturers scheduled to be on the scene include Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Can-Am, Suzuki and Kymco.
Thunder In The Valley Attractions
Entertainment will feature the World Burnout Tour featuring Nick Lee (you can probably smell the tour from a couple of miles away if the wind is blowing in the right direction); the Ives Brothers Wall of Death, where motorcycles and a high-powered go-kart tackle a 15 ft. vertical wall; the Budweiser Clydesdales; The Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show and the culinary delights of Biker Billy.
“My last visit to Thunder in the Valley was fantastic,” said Billy to All About Bikes. “It was such a welcoming atmosphere and it was fun rally with some really great and gorgeous riding around there. I have a lot of fans out in that area and I always get a big crowd and cook up a storm.”
Billy is a published author whose books include “Biker Billy Cooks with Fire,” “Biker Billy’s Hog Wild on a Harley Cookbook,” and his latest, “Biker Billy’s Roadhouse Cookbook.” The books will be on sale at Thunder. He’s appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Live! with Regis and Kelly.”
Billy, a Harley-riding vegan, will be cooking up his flaming hot recipes at Thunder.
“I am the original biker chef,” said Billy, aka Bill Hufnagle of North Carolina. “I’ve been doing this for nearly two decades.”
“I got out there and started doing this and now lot of other people are doing it but it’s all good -- there are many, many bikers and all need hot and spicy food. I am the only person to have a seed named after them, the Burpee Biker Billy Jalapeno.”
Music at Thunder will be provided by the New Riders of the Purple Sage, the Jake and Elwood Blues Revue, The Volunteers, the Billy Price Band, the Nighthawks, the Stickers and more.
Attendees can also visit the Johnstown Flood Museum on site. The flood’s 40-foot high wall of water swept away everything in it path, killing 2,209. The Academy Award-winning documentary “The Johnstown Flood” will be shown hourly there. The Johnstown Inclined Plane features cable cars that ride up and down a steep mountain. How steep? The Guinness Book of World Records has named it the World’s Steepest Vehicular Inclined Plane.
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