Fort Smith Rallies Around the Rally
The 5th annual Steel Horse Rally will roar into Fort Smith, Ark. on May 3-4, 2019. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever. The goal of the Rally is to honor all those who serve, as well as provide assistance for local charities. The two-day event is also a lot of fun—for the whole family, not just bikers. We had the chance recently to sit down with Dennis Snow, President and founder of the Steel Horse Rally, and ask him about last year’s event and the positive impact the Rally has had on the community.
What are you most proud about the Rally?
I am most proud of the way our volunteers, staff, and attendees have supported the Steel Horse Rally. The volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that everyone visiting from other areas has a great time and enjoys all of the amenities of downtown Fort Smith—and of course, the world-class motorcycle roads that surround the area. We have a terrific board of directors and staff who work year-round to ensure that we present the best event that we can. It has been an incredible experience to watch the rally grow rapidly year after year and I am proud that so many people from all walks of life help spread the "Spirit of the Steel Horse Rally."
FAST FACTS—2018 RALLY:
Economic impact on Fort Smith: $17.8 million
What are some things we can look forward to in 2019?
We are very excited to have more dirt track motorcycle racing at the Mighty Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, OK. The 2nd Annual Steel Horse Shootout will take place Friday night May 3, 2019—this race makes the event a two-state event. The owners and staff of this raceway are working hard to make some great improvements to the facility in preparation of this high-octane addition to the rally. We are also working on some exciting entertainment for the Fifth Annual Steel Horse Rally.
Why is Fort Smith—and the area in general—so perfect for hosting this event?
Fort Smith, particularly downtown on Garrison Avenue, is the ideal setting for the Rally. Garrison Avenue is one of the widest downtown streets in America and there is nothing like seeing this historic avenue filled with beautiful motorcycles and riders from all over the country. It still gives me goosebumps to turn the corner onto Garrison during the annual parade and ride under the huge American Flag being flown from a Fort Smith fire department ladder truck. All the while there are thousands of people lining the sidewalks and a sea of motorcycles parked in the middle and both sides of Garrison Avenue. It’s quite a scene. Of course, the local community always redefines "Southern Hospitality," with their smiles and great attitudes. It’s unforgettable day for friends and families.
Why is it so much fun for families, not just bikers?
It’s the variety of activity and entertainment. The Steel Horse Rally features many family-oriented events like, "The Birds of Prey Show," where host Tommy Young of the Arkansas Native Plant and Wildlife Center not only educates people about these beautiful birds, but actually gives people the rare opportunity to put a bird of prey on their gloved hand for a once in a lifetime picture. And downtown Fort Smith is alive with music and food and entertainment for the whole weekend. My favorite memory of the rally is seeing the moms pushing their babies in strollers for their Saturday morning walk, and stopping and handing the baby to a biker for a picture...it's priceless! That is special, as is hearing the sound of laughter on the avenue over the roar of the motorcycles.