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This was the first year for the Heritage Motorcycle Rally in Charleston, South Carolina, and it was the start of some great times. When the promoter Dave Harvey contacted me about covering the event, it didn’t take me long to agree. I like the Charleston area and have always had a good time there— this trip was no different. Added to that, you do not have to wear a helmet if you are over 21!

The Rally is in mid-April, a five-day event held at Exchange Park, on Highway 78, in Ladson, South Carolina; a short ride from Charleston. It is referred to as Ladson Fairgrounds ‘cause that’s what it is normally used for, but the area was ideal for this event. It is on 180 acres and has 250 vendor and RV sites, is easy to get around, has plenty of parking, paved walkways, 5,000-seat amphitheater and an enclosed building for the Custom Bike Show.

A lot of time and planning went into this event, and it showed. The two-day Bike Show had some of the top bikes from the area and nation. They gave away a Big Dog Pit Bull to one of the Bike Show spectators who voted on their favorite bikes. The vendors were plentiful, but not too many of one kind. There was entertainment throughout the day, which included some well- known bands playing in the afternoon and until closing.

The event staff had its own security, which was backed up by local agencies and sheriff departments. Law enforcement was helpful and courteous in most cases, with the exception of a group called SLED who were there in full swat type gear and tried to intimidate people. They were also taking and running tag numbers and photographing people. When people complained about their actions the promoter had them removed from the premises. Score a big one for Dave Harvey.

Just prior to the event the city of Charleston had passed a noise ordinance, but the Police Department stated that no noise tickets had been issued during the Rally. Bikers coming back from the city said they had a good time and were treated well. Reports from North Charleston were a different matter; police were out in force at local biker hangouts. Officers gave out tickets to motorcycles that had license plates mounted on the side for improper display of license. Dave Harvey contacted the State Department of Motor Vehicles—they sent someone in and dismissed all the tickets—another one for Dave. I’m starting to like this guy more and more.

While things were going on at the fairgrounds, all the biker hangouts in a 50-mile radius were having their parties. There were event maps showing bike shops and bars, with plenty of information of what was going on and where.

So many parties—so little time! I did my best though, to get out and visit some of them, and I want to thank my friends from the area, Alan and Lynn, for being my tour guides.

I had big fun at the Kick-N-Horse on Highway 17. We had an article on it in the February 2002 issue of Biker, and I felt I just had to check it out myself. I liked it best of all the places I visited. Of course, it might also have had something to do with the Wet T-shirt Contest while I was there.

It was a great time and I see big things in the future for the Heritage M/C Rally. They had 45,000 people attend, before I left for home, and they still had that day to go. Those are real good numbers for a new event. When more people find out about it there is no telling how big it will get.

Hope to see you at the Second Annual Heritage M/C Rally, April 14-18, 2004. For more information you should phone 843-767-4258, or e-mail kicknhorse@aol.com. You can also contact me at rogue@bikerrogue.com. Hope to see you at the next one.



This article is from Biker Number 217 March 2004 an Easyriders magazine.

Photography by Rogue.





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