The fifth annual Steel Horse Rally will include an extra bang this year with the inclusion of the Mayor’s Salute to Veterans Fireworks Display.
The fireworks will begin at dark on May 4 at Harry E. Kelley Park and will be followed by the crowning of Miss Steel Horse Rally 2019, and a concert by multi-platinum national recording artist Fuel.
“The Steel Horse Rally is honored to be working with the new mayor of Fort Smith (George McGill) to honor our veterans,” said Dennis Snow, Steel Horse Rally president. “We look forward to a great partnership as the rally and the city continue to grow together.”
The rally begins May 3, with Garrison Avenue being closed to all vehicles except motorcycles beginning at 6:30 p.m., Snow said. The avenue will remain closed through May 4 for the rally.
Gates will open at 5 p.m. May 4 for the fireworks display and concert, which will also include performances by Messer and BeItTheMeans. Advance tickets are a $15 charitable donation. Day of tickets, if available, will be $20. VIP tickets and advance tickets are available at the Steel Horse Rally website.
Snow announced this year’s charities at a press conference Wednesday (March 20): The Fort Smith Museum of History, Children’s Service League, Antioch Youth and Family and Buddy Smith Veterans Home. Last year the rally raised just over $30,000 for the chosen charities, Snow said. The Steel Horse Rally Inc. has raised more than $75,000 for local charities since it began.
The Steel Horse Rally has grown each year since it began in 2015. Last year more than 100,000 attended the motorcycle rally, which will again include a birds of prey show, bike show, vendors and parade (at 3 p.m. May 4). The number of visitors to the rally over the past four years is estimated around 210,000, according to information released at the press conference.
Last year’s economic impact was estimated at $17.9 million. The total economic impact of the rally since it began is estimated at $44.1 million, press information states.
Editor’s note: Talk Business & Politics Executive Editor Michael Tilley served on the initial Steel Horse Rally Board of Directors. He resigned from the board in 2017.