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Blessing of the Bikes returns to Marshalltown

T-R File Photo The 26th annual Blessing of the Bike will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the east side of Riverview Park.

A long-standing Marshalltown tradition will finally get to reach a milestone year.

Since 1995, the annual Blessing of the Bikes has been a charitable event attracting hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts across Iowa and even from neighboring states. The event had three different planned dates in 2020, but was continuously delayed and ultimately canceled to avoid the risk of COVID-19.

Now the Blessing of the Bikes will celebrate its 25th year on May 8 at the east side of Riverview Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Historically hosted by Fred and Jackie Ingraham, the owners of local bike maintenance and repair shop F&J Racing, 100 percent of the proceeds from the event will be donated to local charities.

Jackie has watched the event grow from 100 attendees in its first year to one of Marshalltown’s larger charity events.

“I’m beyond excited,” she said. “Because it was held off for a year, I have a full book full of everything we have planned.”

Live music, entertainment, games, activities, food, vendors will all pack the park. A truck bed full of door prizes will also be given out. Some motorcyclists are known to ride into the event on vintage bikes, competing for the top prize in the vintage bike contest. The event is not just for motorcyclists, as it is intended to be a family-friendly event to be enjoyed by any.

“We’re expecting a lot of people because everything has been shut down for so long,” Jackie said.

The event’s highlight is the actual Blessing of the Bikes by an ordained minister at noon. The blessing is meant to ensure all motorcycle riders have a safe riding season.

A new cause proceeds will go to this year is for the Marshalltown Police Department and Fire Departments to help homeless find shelter amid cold weather when police officers pick them up. Firefighters and police officers have paid out of pocket for the homeless to have shelter in the wintertime.

Cost for admission is $10 and a campground will be available for use at the event.

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Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or tbabcock@timesrepublican.com.

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