THE NEWEST NATIONAL
RALLY IN THE U.S.
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
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
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
email@example.com. You can also contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to
see you at the next one.